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No Strings Attached

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Aiah Giselle Peregrine Corrington was laying back on her oversized king bed while her lover went to get them both a drink. She was sore from fucking him so many times. The uncomfortable feeling made her smile.

He used, abused and worshipped her body in such a way that the ache was simply divine. Brushing her fingers against herself, a smile of delight appeared. Far more sore than she realized, slender fingers stroked against the wetness. She would not complain, at all.

Interpreter and translator, she had skills useful the world over. She spoke and read English, Spanish, Italian, French, German, Japanese, Mandarin, Russian, Arabic and Hindustani. She also spoke several other languages that she wasn’t her definition of fluent in. For Aiah, she had to have a working knowledge of certain technological and scientific terms to call herself fluent. No mater, she was able to converse easily with a native speaker or read even a novel in the other languages.  Aiah was excellent at translating writings from up to 500 hundred years ago in English, Russian, Arabic and German.

Aiah was born in London to an American father and an English mother. Tobias Corrington, her father, had been in the US military. He had been in England for a joint training session between the US and UK when he met Clarice, Aiah’s mother. They married less than two months after meeting for the first time. Their love was almost like a fairytale and had been married for almost 32 years. They were still very much in love.

Clarice was born in England. But due to the family business and the military service of her father, traveled the world several times over as a child. She didn’t think twice about raising Aiah in a similar fashion. With London being her birthplace, Aiah made it her permanent home. Most of her work came from the European and Asian continents, and it was a prime location for a young woman to live. Especially since Aiah had the means to live very well.

Traveling the world meant that Aiah was submerged in languages of all sorts on a constant basis. She had an aptitude for linguistics in general and could mimic accents of all sorts. Most native Russian speakers thought she was a native speaker as well. The way she spoke Russian made it sound if she was from St. Petersburg.

Godparents helped keep a young Aiah with ‘family’ when she was unable to be with her parents for whatever reason. It was a modicum of stability in a rarely stable family life. They too were entrenched in politics just like Aiah’s parents.

Sliding out of bed, she walked over to the window. Arms on the back of the window seat, she knelt upon the cushions. She could see that a storm was rolling in. The rumbles of thunder were low pitched and in the distance. The rumble in the distances was felt more than heard. Eyes closed, she enjoyed the sensation.

At 30, she was as lean and sleek figured as she had been as a teen. Granted, nobody had mistaken her for a teenager for a while now. Thick, curling, espresso colored dark hair accented the palest green eyes almost anyone had ever seen. Aiah was often called striking rather than beautiful.

Truthfully, she was both.

Thick dark lashes gave her an ethereal cast as they framed her sea green eyes. With a mouth that was wide and mobile, it always appeared as if she found something amusing.  More than a few people had likened her to being like a predatory big cat. She was perfectly at ease with other predators just don’t come too close without permission.

Many different people sought Aiah out for a variety of reasons. Some wanted to tame her and keep her for their very own. They never realized she shouldn’t be tamed. No. To tame such a woman would never work in their favor. She needed a mate, not a handler.

She had found a paramour that complimented her well. They partnered well when it came to their wants and needs. First and foremost they were friends, close friends. They lived several countries apart from one another and came together, no pun intended, for weeks or weekends of bliss. Neither of them felt the need to put on airs with the other and their trysts were refreshing to say the least.

Ten years ago, Aiah was in attendance at small social gathering with a group of Americans that she was working with. It was set up to decide if the government and other investors were willing to work with the Americans on a deal.

The man that would become her lover, was supposed to meet with the American group later that day. The gathering was to introduce the men to others. Her paramour wasn’t supposed to be at the gathering. There had been a meeting scheduled at that time and it was cut short. Out of curiosity, he stepped in the room. His quiet presence startled those in attendance.

The man unnerved a great many people in his lifetime. While reasonably attractive, the man lacked the stature of the latest Hollywood film star. One could even call his build as being slight.

She could feel the air ripple with something akin to worry or fear but finished her interpreting first.

Aiah was beautiful. While beauty truly was in the eye of the beholder, beautiful women were a dime a dozen. However, this was a woman that had more than just simple beauty. She spoke and moved with such confidence, it rattled those around her much of the time. Soft spoken with a brilliant mind, Aiah was someone that stood out.

The man that she would be meeting shortly stopped and stared.

Unable to help himself, he watched her mouth move. Full lips that curved upwards gave the impression that she was always smiling. Her voice, while soft, was something dark and rich. She wasn’t chilly or brittle like some women were in a crowd of men.  No, this little girl was warm. She was the fires that burned on the coldest day.

This was a woman that didn’t feel the need to prove herself. Somehow people felt the need to prove themselves to her. The man watched the scene unfold before him.

The way Aiah held herself was fascinating to him. This wasn’t a woman that was confident because of her looks. This was a woman that was self-assured because she was the very best at what she did. The intelligence in those unusual green eyes left him awestruck. And then she caught him staring at her.

Her gaze met his and he was surprised. Not many strangers in these settings would meet his gaze. Her gentle smile was one of genuine delight at seeing him there and he returned the smile in kind. Unlike the men she was with, there wasn’t a flicker of fear to be seen from her. The Americans were nervous, he noted but their interpreter was not. Interesting.

She bowed her head in respect but did not approach. Aiah was well aware of the rules that surrounded him. It made an impression. He knew he had not seen her before. This one would be a hard to miss and ever harder to forget.

The attraction between the two of them was immediate. That single meeting started a long lasting liaison between them. Aiah had been having an affair with the current President of Russia, Vladimir Putin, for over a decade.

They were both fond of one another. Privately, they were very caring and affectionate. Still, their relationship was no strings attached on either side – at least sexually. The friendship that would develop between the pair would last throughout their lifetimes.

Ten years ago her face and figure spoke of youth but her bearing was that of a woman with experience at life. The poise and gracefulness in which she held herself was not that of a mere girl. Age meant little to a woman like Aiah, she would always be sought after.

Putin had mistakenly thought her to be 10-12 years older than she actually was. It wasn’t because she looked older. There was no way that a woman of just 20 years could hold herself in such a way. He thought it would have been impossible.

Later, when he had asked if she would permit him to kiss her. She said yes and then kissed him first.

Putin often thought back to that first kiss between them, especially in his private time. It was not a peck on the lips nor was it something forced. That kiss was something soft and subtle at first, much like the woman herself.

She let it linger and build slowly. Tender and sweet sounds encouraged him further. It was then that Aiah finally yielded to him, allowing his tongue to slip past her lips. His hands, strong and blunt, stroked across the expensive dress. They explored each other in such a way that when they parted from the kiss, they were both breathless.

Breathless and still connected by touch, Putin pulled her closer. The gasp she made when her body collided with his own was far more beautiful than any piece of music he had heard. A single digit explored his jawline and stroked his skin lightly. There was curiosity in her beautiful gaze and she kissed him again. The second kiss was even more decadent than the first.

Ten years later, she still thrilled him. It wasn’t just the sex either. While open and candid with him, Aiah always carried an air of mystery about her. Rarely revealing her hand, she was still quite forward and direct. This was a woman that should have come with a warning label.

Social niceties differed from culture to culture. She studied those differences. She understood the nuances of manners and proper behavior. Exceedingly polite and demure, Aiah Corrington was a woman in demand. You could always expect her to be genuinely polite, unless you stepped over a line.

Liberties were not permitted to be taken with her, ever. Bold in the way men tended to be, it made those of the male persuasion take a step back if they raised her ire. The people that could afford to hire her were wholly unused to a woman being as confrontational as she. It made more than a few men uncomfortable, even to the point of fear. Those men couldn’t understand how she evoked those feelings within them. 

Aiah had been all of 21 when she took on a longer contract than she normally would. The man that had hired her was an old school businessman. A kind and jovial person, he treated her like a favorite granddaughter. Having a feeling that she was recommended to the man by her occasional lover was odd at first. Nevertheless, the work was enjoyable.

Grigori Tikhonovich, her employer, always insisted she call him Grisha. Grisha was somewhat of a financial genius. Every single project he did there would be people from all over the world wishing to finance it. He hadn’t lost money on a project in over thirty years.

After the first time Aiah worked with him, she refused to take payment. The amount earned by her had been exorbitant. It was far more than she believed was justified. She and Grisha were arguing about payment while sitting at the dinner table in his home. It was his wife that came up with a better idea. Nastasia told her husband to not pay Aiah.

When he began to protest, she shushed him. He could invest the money owed back into his project. If he made a profit then so would Aiah. Grisha fretted over doing such a deal. He worried that she wouldn’t have enough money to live on. It took her swearing to him that she was financially sound.

That contract launched her into the double digits as a billionaire when she was just 21 years old.

They were entertaining possible investors when a man said something derogatory about her and Grisha to another. By the accent, she guessed he was either from the US or Canada. However, he spoke in Mandarin to express his thoughts.

She whispered something to her employer who gave her permission to have the men removed.

On high alert, she stepped over to the men. Speaking in Mandarin, she asked both men to leave immediately. She was all of 5’7 and weighed less than 120 lbs. The men believed her to be just a silly little slip of a girl with no real authority. Immediately, they became belligerent and tried to intimidate Aiah.

She stood before the two serenely. It wasn’t until the man that spoke put his hands on her did Aiah move. Wearing a business suit and heels, she swept the man’s feet out from under him. Just as quickly, she had him on his belly. The man was at her mercy in less than three seconds. Putting pressure on the joint, she was very close to doing permanent damage. Her voice was soft when she spoke.

“You should be grateful that I haven’t done any damage, yet. However, as I have no problem doing permanent damage, I would suggest you choose your next words and actions very carefully.”

The men were removed, Aiah never found out what happened to them. She didn’t care. The investment however, paid out 1000-fold. The news of what she had done made its rounds. She was not a woman to be trifled with. Vladimir ended up hearing about it through Grisha himself.

Immediately, he called her. It was well after midnight in London when he did.

“Hello?” She knew who it was of course.

“Are you alone?”

“I am walking into my flat currently.” The jingle of keys were heard.

“I spoke with Grisha.”

“Oh? Is everything alright?”

The line went dead.

Seconds later, a video chat was enabled.

Chuckling softly, she answered. “You just wanted to see me naked in the bathroom?” Putting the phone on a shelf, Aiah was removing her makeup.

“How did you know I was alone?”

“I didn’t.”

“You wouldn’t care if someone else saw you?”

Unpinning her hair and shaking it out, she laughed. “Why would I care? I have a body. So does every other human on the planet.”

He sighed softly and shook his head. “What shall I ever do with you?”

“Too bad you are a four hour flight away. Otherwise I would offer to show you exactly what you could do.” She blew a kiss to him.  

“How did you know how to throw a man like that?”

“I have studied Judo and Krav Maga since before I was of school age.”

“Why didn’t you tell me?”

“Why didn’t you ask?” She countered. “Since I am all alone, I need to get myself off before I go to sleep. Unless you want to watch?” Aiah smirked. 

He wanted to.

Switching over to her laptop, Aiah gave him quite the show.

While it was the first time he had ever had ‘phone sex’, it wouldn’t be the last.

She worked with Tikhonovich often. So much so that she became like a family member and was very close with his immediate family. They kept in touch until the day he died which was only 8 months ago. Born in 1927 Grisha had seen a little of everything. Instead of making him bitter, he became more and more kind with each passing year.

When Aiah arrived at the funeral with Grisha’s granddaughters she was shocked to see Putin there. She had not known he would be attending. Because of Putin’s being there, the attendance grew with those that knew Mr. Grisha Tikhonovich.

She and Putin spoke briefly before he had to leave. He was still concerned. It was the first time he had ever seen her cry. Like her lover, Aiah had mastered her emotions and rarely showed what she didn’t wish others to see.

It was later she found out that Grisha had been close with Vladimir’s father. Still, that wasn’t the reason the President of Russia had shown up. Aiah had been distraught and he wished to make sure that she was faring well.

Grisha’s widow, Nastasia, was surprised at the great number important people had shown to her husband’s funeral. That evening Nastasia had told Aiah that she believed that Vladimir Vladimirovich was sweet on the younger woman. Aiah scoffed and explained that they had a good working relationship for the last decade.

She still kept in touch with Nastasia and his other family members. It wasn’t until after Grisha passed away that she was told why he cared so deeply for her. Aiah reminded him of his younger sister that killed in WWII during the Siege of Leningrad. She reminded him so much of his younger sister that Grisha had wondered if she was his dear Masha reincarnated.

She was given a framed picture of Grisha and his sister taken in 1937. He had been a boy of 10 and his sister was 9. They picture was lovingly put in her sitting room with pictures of her grandparents. Aiah resembled the little girl physically, that was for certain. According to Grisha’s brother Aiah and Masha had a notably similar personality as well.

She would treasure the picture for as long as she lived.

So much of her schooling was what would have to be called informal. Aiah was surrounded by American and British military folk and politicians. Her command of languages were so renowned that when she was just 18 years old the US military had sought her out.

She said no, repeatedly.  

She was taught by her parents and tutors instead of attending any public schools. The Corrington family never stayed at a place long enough for Aiah to successfully attend school. Because of the sheer amount of travel and moving her parents did, it was easier to homeschool the young Aiah. Her education progressed quickly because of it. She had earned two BS degrees from a well-respected university when she was just 16.

Aiah was intelligent. She was a girl with a fast metabolism and even faster learning abilities with little need for extras like sleep.  Her parents found out very early on it was best to keep her busy. They pushed her hard in education, knowledge and sports. When she was young, you had to wear her out to get her to rest at all.

Having a natural aptitude in athleticism, she competed in or played for her own enjoyment in a good number of sports. Aiah ran, skied on snow and water, swam, played tennis, and along with many others but her passions were fencing, Krav Maga and Judo.

Although it was rarely spoken about, she had competed in fencing at two summer Olympics.

The day she met Putin, Aiah had been working with that group of American businessmen. The six men were problematic from the start. It was a brush here and a feel there. They tried to play the touches off as accidental or as friendly, such as an arm around the shoulders.

While only 20, she had a no tolerance policy that was written into her contracts. Not to mention, Aiah knew that she could reduce every single one of them to tears without even mussing up her hair.

Aiah warned them one time. They were given one chance and one chance only. They didn’t believe her warning and one of the men slid his hand underneath her skirt. She quit on the spot. They still had to pay her fees and all expenses as per the contract, so it was no loss for her.

They also ended up paying her hush money.

Supposedly, the men all married into money. If any of their wives would have found out what they attempted with their interpreter, they would have divorced the men and left their ex-husbands penniless. These supposed rich and powerful women were no one Aiah had ever heard of. Asking her father and a search online turned up nothing either.

It amused Aiah greatly. She never threatened them with blackmail. There was no need to pay her such a large sum. Still, they gave her the money.

Putin had not been in the room at the time but was watching privately and without anyone’s knowledge. He was the one that made the men pay and pay well. Aiah was never told about that, not that it would have mattered to her.

She valued privacy because of growing up there was little privacy to be found. She was not the sort that needed much in the way of human connection.  Punishment for misdeeds was not something she concerned herself with in regards to others. She had grown up in a world were punishment was handed out for the most minor of offenses.  

She kept herself closed off to 99% of the people she encountered, even her parents to a degree. Several accusations were made by men that tried to sleep with her and were refused. There were rumors that she was a well-controlled psychopath. Aiah rolled her eyes at such nonsense.

Yes, she could be cool and calculating. That was actually because of the business she was in. When translating between people she could not allow her own emotion to show. It would skew the viewpoints of others. The same thing was brought up when she appeared not to show any emotional empathy. She didn’t outwardly show it, that didn’t mean it wasn’t there.

Five years ago, a large suitcase was found in a basement in Poland that contained quite a bit of information left from the occupation of Poland by the Nazis. Having dedicated a large amount of time over the years studying Nazi Germany from a both a historical and psychological points of views, she was considered to be well versed in that part of history.

Those documents contained some of the foulest information she had ever laid eyes on. Every evening when she retired to the small flat that was rented for her, she would cry over a glass of wine. The wine was there to help numb the anguish she felt in her heart. Aiah very rarely drank anything alcoholic so the wine was helpful in the process of washing away the anguish.

That fateful day a decade ago, Aiah requested from one of the Russians if he would show her out since she was no longer working with the men. Via radio it was arranged that Putin would have a chance to speak privately with her.

“Is everything alright Ms. Corrington?” Vladimir Putin looked concerned when he stopped her in the grand hallway.

Aiah was polite but she didn’t believe he was actually concerned. “Yes, my apologies Prime Minister. I found myself at odds with what they wished for, so there might be a delay until they bring someone else in.”

“There is no need. I won’t do business with men such as these.”

She bowed her head ever so slightly and spoke softly. “I’m very sorry that we wasted your time Sir. That was not my intention. Perhaps our paths will cross again.” She offered her hand.

He did take her hand but before he let go, he kissed the back of it. “Would you mind staying please Ms. Corrington? It would just be for twenty or thirty minutes. I would like to speak with you.”

“Of course Sir.”

 She was shown to his office and they discussed a business proposition. Two hours later, they were fucking for the third time with Aiah bent over his desk. He could never get enough of her, even a decade later. Sleek and slender, her body looked delicate but Putin found out that looks were deceiving when it came to her.

He was the one that desired to see her again but it was Aiah that laid the ground rules for their relationship.

Aiah didn’t care for things. She didn’t want presents, flowers, or any sort of gift. She didn’t want nor need money. Anything she wanted? She could purchase it herself. Although, she did not mind the occasional piece of new lingerie to replace something he had ruined in their rougher moments. 

Also, she didn’t want to date. The thought of being seen with the then Russian Prime Minister in a romantic sense didn’t sound appealing. Given her age at the time the relationship started, it would have been a mess. To make matters worse, he was a married father of two girls, 35 years her senior and Aiah was younger than both of his children. The only time she would be seen with him in public was in a business capacity.

She was a favorite of the photographers taking official photos of Putin. Part of it was for simple propaganda. Aiah came from a family with prominent ties in both American and British politics. It was to poke at those governments, especially the American one. She would rarely set foot in the United States.

The photographs taken were almost always in the company of others. There were a few rare ones of her with Putin but it was easy to see that the pictures came from a public business setting. A rumor had been started that she was either frigid or lesbian because even the virile and macho Putin rarely gave her a second glance.

It worked out well with plausible deniability.

Putin heard one of the remarks himself in a meeting with some of the Cabinet members, just two days after Aiah had been there.

“Vladimir Vladimirovich! When are you going to break in that pretty girl you have working here?”

“We are surrounded by beautiful women, you are going to have to be more specific.” He replied dryly.

“The pretty little thing with the eyes. Is she frigid or does she like the ladies like we do?” The man smiled broadly.

“Do you mean the interpreter, Aiah?”

“Yes! She needs a man to tell her what is what! I will offer my services if you do not wish to have a go at her first.”

The Cabinet member stepped down from his position when scandal after scandal rocked his office to the very core.

Aiah had very recently found out that she had fans online that worshipped her every move. The knowledge of the fan club left her stunned. She had no idea. Upon finding out how much fanfic was dedicated to her, Aiah briefly considered becoming a hermit. Not one to be overly bothered by things, it still was odd to her.

However, she did take a certain amount of glee in reading a passage or two from the fanfiction to Putin. Since she was normally seen in his company, an affair between the two of them in the writings wasn’t unknown. She especially enjoyed reading him the naughty bits where she called him Master or Daddy. It made even the unflappable Vladimir Vladimirovich blush on occasion.

“He was insatiable when it came to her. Quickly, Vladimir Vladimirovich claimed her innocence for himself. Rutting with her like a beast, he spilled his seed only when he heard her girlish voice whisper cum in me Daddy.”

“That is not normal. No, what sort of sick person writes that?” He was stunned.

“Do I have a girlish voice?” Aiah frowned. “I don’t think I do.”

“No Kitten. Your voice is not of a girl. I know exactly what you sound like when you are calling out my name.” He smirked. “Hm. There is some truth there at least.”

“Oh?”

“I am insatiable when it comes to you and I do rut like a beast at times.”

“Not the innocence part?” Aiah was trying not to laugh.

Kissing her lips, Vladimir smiled. “Kitten, I know nothing of innocence when it comes to you. Which is good. I do not want you innocent. You are far, far, far more interesting being sinful.”

“What if I write you a story? Hm?”

“Now that I would not mind.”

“Challenge accepted.”

So much attention was paid to Aiah because she did a series of family shows and children’s books in nearly 20 languages. The shows were to help young people discover the world outside of their own bubble. Through school programs, there were pen pals so that children could learn other languages beside their native ones. The pen pals were closely monitored so that they would not be taken out of the system in order to keep children safer. There were episodes for each age grouping from 4 to 17.

Because of this, there was a good number of girls that wanted to be her and boys that wanted to date Aiah.

Even in the beginning of their relationship, they spent quite a bit of time just talking. Aiah was every bit of a night owl that Putin was. The three hour time difference between London and Moscow was insignificant to each other’s lives. Wise beyond her years, he learned to trust her judgement. He may not agree with her but the reasoning was sound. He could trust Aiah to answer him as honestly and completely as she was able.

Putin did employ Aiah with regularity for various reasons. By the age of 23 she held three PhDs, one in biology, one in psychology and the last in zoology. The only reason she got the degrees was because she was bored with most of what she was translating and it helped with her vocabulary when she was doing certain jobs. She forced herself to learn the same information in other languages as well.

All of this and more combined to make her the most sought after interpreter in the world.

She absolutely refused to be involved in illegal activities, she also refused to make comments about anything that happened within a business capacity. And god forbid anyone tried to get her to talk on religion or politics. They would have a better chance of being kicked by a snake. 

When someone paid for her services they also paid for silence.

Depending on where in the world Aiah and Vladimir were located determined where they would stay. They were currently at her spacious London flat. Both of their lives left little time for chance encounters. Nothing was a surprise and everything needed to be arranged for when they saw each other. That was more for keeping their private lives out of the daily news and Putin safe.

She had been surprised when he agreed to her terms. He had been married at the time and was quite pleased that she didn’t want anything more. The fact that she was the one to set the parameters of their relationship amused him. Then again, she amused him much of the time.

“Are you not going to get dressed?” He walked back in with a bottle of cold Perrier and two glasses. Her glass had ice. His didn’t. He wore nothing more than pajama bottoms.

“Do you want me to get dressed?” She looked back over her shoulder.

He smiled and shook his head. “No. I want you again.” The bottle and glasses were set down on a nightstand and he walked over to her. His lips were pressed to her shoulder when he wrapped his arms around her waist. He patted her bare bottom. “I like this.”

“Does that mean you like my bare arse? Or the tan lines? Or fucking my arse?

“All three.” He bit her collarbone gently. She couldn’t see it but he smiled when he heard her breath quicken.

Aiah had spent four months on an island working and still sported a warm tan except where her bikini bottoms had been. On her days off she spent a lot of time swimming and at the beach. Tops were optional on the beaches and she opted to not wear one most of the time. She also knew he had a fondness for bikini tan lines.

“How do you want me Vladimir?” Her head turned to look at him and she gave him a sultry smile. “Would you let me suck your cock until your cum dribbles down my chin? Or would you rather fuck my almost white arse?”  

 “Minx.”

She batted her lashes and gave him a faux innocent look, making him chuckle. There was something far too devilish in her green eyes. Turning around, she faced him.

“I want you Vladimir. I want you to make me scream and make me cry.” Her hand went to cup around the front of his pajamas. Gently as can be, her fingers ran over his already hard cock. Leaning in, she was eye to eye with him. Her lips brushed his jaw and she whispered. “Will you please?”

Grabbing her arm roughly, he spun her around. Knees hit the soft cushion before she even realized he had moved her. Putin pulled at the string on his pajama bottoms and let them drop to the floor. Grabbing Aiah’s hair with one hand he slid the head of his cock between her soaking wet folds.

“Whore.” He whispered before thrusting in hard and fast.

The sudden move made her gasp. The gasp was followed immediately by a whimper of pain. He let go of her hair and the hand went around her throat. The other teased at the sensitive peaks of her nipples. His lips caressed her ear with a whisper. In turn he savored the sweet cries of his lover.  

“You make the perfect little whore for me don’t you Aiah? Except you aren’t a whore. You are just mine to do with what I please.” He bit the back of her neck hard enough to leave a mark. “I will only give you what you want if you are a good girl. Can you be a good girl Kitten? Is it even possible?”

“Cad.” She growled. Truthfully she loved when he would say things like that.

His hand tightened around her slender throat. “What was that?”

“Cad.” She hissed the word. “You are a brute Vladimir.”

“You say the sweetest things to me. You may call me a cad, a scoundrel or even a brute but it is you that would fall to her knees to get a taste of my cock Aiah.” He purred against her ear. “You would beg for it and you know it.”

“Yesssssssss. I would.”

“Wet little cunt. MmmHm. You are delicious Aiah.”

 Her body shivered with delight. Indeed, she begged him for more. There was no other man that she desired like she did him. Even the first day they met, he knew how to make her cry out his name.

Pulling out, he shoved his cock into her arse. The pain was electrifying. Hands tightened on the back of the window seat. Immediately his thick cock was buried all the way inside of her. She knelt in front of him unable to make a sound. The thrusts started hard and fast. Finally, she found her voice.

Aiah begged him to thrust harder. He wasn’t one to deny his Kitten if he didn’t have to.

Finally she cried out, Putin slipped two fingers back in her sex.  Fingers matched the strokes of his cock for a while before he pulled them out.

“Lick them clean Aiah. Lick them clean for me.” He smeared her own wetness over Aiah’s full lips.

She sucked both fingers into her mouth. Licking and sucking, she cleaned them off. Flicks of her tongue pressed against the pads of his fingers. She nipped his skin when she felt the orgasm rise up. She met his thrusts with her own and it only made him fuck her harder and faster. As the storm rolled into London, the crash of thunder set the tempo for them. The lights flickered a few times and when they did, Aiah and her lover found their pleasure together. He did indeed make her weep. Tears of pleasure and pain tracked down her cheeks as she sang her delight.

One arm snaked around her belly. Kissing behind her ear, Vladimir smiled. Pulling out, the pajama bottoms were retrieved. He picked her up easily. With her in his arms, Putin walked over to the bed and set her down in the center. He kissed the tracks of tears away and kissed her lips.

He saw to her comfort before he sat down and leaned back against the pillows.

“Lay with me Aiah?”

“It would be my pleasure.”

Sliding closer to him, Aiah laid her head on his thigh. Lips pressed right below his navel, only to linger. She stroked her hands over his stomach and chest while looking up at him. It was obvious that he enjoyed her touch.

 “It’s hard to believe that it has been over ten years.”

“Time flies does it not?” She smiled.

“Very much so. I am saddened by the thought you will be leaving me soon.” He stroked her cheek adoringly.

“Leaving? Whatever for?”

“My Aiah, you need a man to settle down with. Good people marry.”

“I do not believe I qualify as good. Okay, maybe good at it.” She didn’t bother to tell him even if she was married that didn’t mean anything. She knew he would disagree. It was fine for a married man to have an affair but not a married woman. If she were ever to marry, her husband would know that she had another lover that she wouldn’t give up.

“You are very good at it.” He touched her cheek again with a smile.

“Vladimir, do you remember my full name?”

Shaking his head, he arched an eyebrow. “Aiah Giselle Peregrine Corrington. How could I forget that?”

“Aiah means a raven or a vulture. What do ravens or vultures often mean? Death. Giselle means pledge or oath and of course Peregrine is a bird of prey. That is not the name of a woman that will settle down willingly or easily. It is certainly not the name of a woman that will do anything that she does not wish to do. I needed a man only once. That was my father helping create me. I have never needed a man Vladimir Vladimirovich and I never will.”

“You do not need me?”

“No. I don’t. I want you. I don’t need you. The difference is a need is a must have. A person needs food and shelter, for example. You I want. To want a man is much higher praise. I don’t need you to take care of me. I am perfectly capable of caring for my own self. You enrich my life. I could live without you but why would I want to do so?”

Vladimir Putin looked at her smiling face and shook his head with a chuckle. “I often wonder what it would have been like meeting you many years ago when I was a young man. If we would have been of a similar age, what would have happened?”

“I would have driven you mad.”  

“I probably would have tried to recruit you.” He tugged on her hair and smiled.

“So I could drive you……madder?” She laughed warmly. “It probably would have been similar to how we met originally Vladimir. We would have fucked each other until we both could barely move.” Her brow creased. “You realize we were living in Germany at the same time, yes?”

He rolled his eyes. “Don’t remind me Kitten. I am an old man.”

She rolled her eyes at him. “An old man couldn’t fuck me like you do.”

“Would we have married?”

“Doubtfully. I make a much better paramour than I would a spouse.”

“Aiah, why would you think that?”

“You aren’t around me all the time. I can be difficult.”

He started to laugh. “You can be difficult? You are difficult. Luckily on you, it is very endearing.”

She smiled. “Thank you. As for why? You know what my schedule is like. That is no way to have a marriage.”

Vladimir moved Aiah so that she was kneeling over his thighs, facing him. His blue-grey eyes looked into her pale green ones, searching for something.  Unsure of exactly what he was searching for, he kissed her forehead tenderly.

“Why Kitten? Why do you hide yourself?”

“I don’t hide. I am around people all the time. And because clients need to be able to trust me I feel somewhat exposed constantly. I like my solitude. You are the exception to that rule my dearest Vladimir. I enjoy being near you. You understand me in ways that no one else ever has before. You aren’t upset when I just wish to be near you and be silent.”

“That is because we are the same in many ways.”

Gently, he laid her back on to the bed. Her bare skin was so soft beneath his fingertips. His lips pressed to a spot right beneath her earlobe. He caught the subtle scent that she wore earlier in the day. His body covered hers and when he felt her heartbeat Putin closed his eyes.

Their connection to each other grew stronger every time they were together. He hated going to a different country without her.  Everything could be going wrong and with her he did not worry. She soothed his beasts. It amazed him that she was able to do so with such ease. He realized long ago that she had her own beasts and they spoke the same language as his.

This time they took their time with one another. It was much slower and more sensual than when they listened to the storm roll in. Fingers traced warm patterns slowly along each other’s flesh. Soft kisses were pressed upon skin and lingered there. They took their time while enjoying the taste and feel of one another. Vladimir enjoyed the sounds that his lover made.

Aiah’s voice was like honey and with her barely audible sounds of pure pleasure, she was the most erotic creature he had ever encountered. The cries of passion that left her lips were words of praise to his ears. He recovered from their recent encounter with their slow foreplay and it wasn’t long before he was ready again.

She could feel him, already hard. Keeping pale eyes focused on him, she began to press and grind against his cock. Sliding a hand between them, Aiah ran her fingers over the fabric that kept her from feeling the satiny flesh beneath.   

His frustration grew until he jerked down the bottoms and thrust into her. Hand tangling in her curls, he pulled hard. Her neck arched, giving him better access to her throat. Nipping and kissing the soft skin there, Putin enjoyed his lover fully.

Pulling harder, he groaned when her back bowed. Full and natural breasts were on display for him and Vladimir took pleasure in mauling the rounded globes. The flesh there was tender from his touch over their time spent together, which only made him bite and suck harder.

 “You are soaking wet, Kitten.”

“I always am when it comes to you.”

“I know.”

He moved them both so that she was riding him. Aiah gripped the top of the headboard tightly, steadying herself. Impaled on his thick cock, she whimpered softly. He was quite a bit thicker than men she had previously been with. The girth alone gave the most intense sensations of pain and exquisite pleasure.

“Vladimir, you feel marvelous.” Such a soft voice had a tendril of roughness while praising her partner.

The little vixen in his arms was close, he could tell. He craved her pleasure more than his own. “Give it to me Aiah. Give me what I want.” Putin growled at her. “Tell me Kitten, tell me how much you like my cock buried in you. No, don’t tell me. Show me.”

And she did. Aiah looked into his eyes when the first waves of orgasmic pleasure took over her entire body. Unable to help himself, his own happened within mere moments of hers.

She kissed him.

Lips were soft and tender upon his own with that kiss. Even though they had just finished, Aiah’s delicate cries of ecstasy were muffled against his lips. He could feel how much she craved him. Pulling back from the kiss, she looked into his eyes once more.  

Full parted lips curved upwards smiling and she begged him for more.

Laying her down on the bed, Aiah was on her stomach. Vladimir marveled at her physical beauty. How could he not? Kneeling over the backs of her thighs he stroked he skin with his lips and fingertips. Hips lifting, she pressed her rounded and muscular arse upwards.

“Vladimir……” The sound of joy in her voice was obvious, as was her smile.

The smile quickly turned to a frown when her personal phone began to ring. It was her father. She held a finger to her lips to signal silence. Aiah didn’t step away even knowing that Vladimir understood English well enough. Her father wouldn’t ever say something that could be compromising.

“Hello Dad. Is everything okay?” It was one in the morning in London.

“Not really sweetheart, what are you doing in about a week?”

Grabbing her work phone she looked at the calendar. She saw she was just doing translating work. It could be done on her laptop. She felt it then. Her lover’s hands were on her arse, spreading her open. Green eyes went wide when she felt his fingertip stroke over and around her back passage.

Vulnerable given the position she was in, Vladimir’s lips pressed against her bare shaven sex. He tasted the love and lust of them both. Pressing her legs open further, his tongue parted her silken folds. Blowing his breath across the wet skin, he smiled when she shivered. Tongue delved in as deep as possible, only to retreat and lap at her clit.

Back arching, her body craved more. Biting down on the pillow in front of her, Aiah couldn’t make a sound. She could hear his sounds of lust and hunger. He growled lowly, only to nip at her labia. Now she was having to bite down hard on her tongue to keep from making any noise.

Aiah nudged him with her foot trying to get him to stop. She heard him laugh softly as he ignored her wishes

“Not much. Why?”

“I need you in Moscow on Monday morning one week from tomorrow.”

“Moscow? Whatever for?”

Fingers slid inside of her while Vladimir tormented her with his tongue. Hands gripped her thighs and shoved her legs wider apart. He devoured her like that. Aiah had to bite down on a pillow again so not to let her father hear.

“President Bryce needs someone that knows the nuances like you do sweetheart.”

She muted the phone for a moment. She couldn’t help it. An orgasm tore through her body. With her back arching once more she pressed hard against him. Wetness ground against his mouth and he didn’t even pause. Sweet cries left her lips instantly. She shot him a murderous look and her lover just smiled and licked his lips.

Unmute.

“Are you going Dad?”

Vladimir was rubbing the head of his hard cock against her clit now and teasing her opening but not actually penetrating. Aiah had to mute the phone again. Whimpering softly, she shivered with pleasure while contemplating murder.

“Yes.”

Unmute

“Who will we be seeing?”

“The list is too long but mostly Putin and Lavrov.”

“Have your secretary email me a list of everything I need and a schedule, I will see you then, bright and early.”

“Will you be staying with us sweetheart or at your place?”

“Dad, my flat is far more comfortable.” Aiah tended to spend well over half the year in Moscow and had for years.  

“I know you have met with Putin before What about Vaino and Medvedev? What about Lavrov?”

“Yes, I have met with Vladimir Putin a great number of times. Translating and interpreting in Russia is the bread and butter of my work. So, I have been in President Putin’s company quite a bit more than Lavrov. Still, they have always been gentlemen around me. I’m not exactly familiar with Vaino so much but Medvedev is a gentleman.”

Mute.

Yes Dad, I have spent a lot of time with Vladimir Putin. As a matter of fact he is fucking me right this very moment. And good god he knows how to fuck me and fuck me well.

He was inside her now and thrusting hard. He loved how wet she was. There was also something about fucking the daughter of the American President’s Chief of Staff that made him smile, not that he would ever admit that. His Kitten was whimpering sweetly for him. She thrust back against him several times suddenly he pulled out. Aiah growled her displeasure at him.

Unmute.

“Okay Dad, see you Monday. I love you.”

She hung up and dropped the phone.

Pressing against her slick little star, once more he thrust in deeply. She whimpered in pain but after just a heartbeat he felt wonderful.

Grabbing her chin, he moved her head to the side so that he was able to kiss her lips. A single digit was torturing her sensitive clit. He got rough and then rougher. He was brutal in the use of her body. Yet, his kisses were loving and tender. Thrusting back hard, she growled. Driving her down on to the mattress, he used his weight to hold Aiah down. Mere minutes later they were both spent.

She licked his cock clean with gentle swipes of her tongue.

After all of their years together, there was very little that was taboo between them in regards to sex. There was only one common sexual experience that she wouldn’t participate in.  Anything they didn’t do otherwise was because they both didn’t care for the act.

Curled up together, he stroked his fingers down her spine gently. “You will be in Moscow in a week?”

“I’m interpreting for President Bryce’s visit apparently.”

“I will get to see you?”

“Professionally, yes. I doubt we will be able see each other privately.”

He arched an eyebrow.

“Vladimir, my father will be there with President Bryce.”

“Really? This must be new information.” Normally he knew all who would be coming with another head of state.

“That would be my guess. They are lucky. I promised to do some translation work otherwise I am booked solid for quite some time.”

“I’ve spoken to your father before but I haven’t met him.”

“I believe you have seen him before in person. Even if you haven’t, you will recognize him immediately. He’s very tall. I look like him except I have bigger breasts and longer hair.” She teased. “I am fairly certain he will not beg to suck your cock like I would either.”

“This is going to be an interesting few days.” He mused.

“I don’t think interesting is a strong enough word to cover what this will be. I believe most people would consider this a conflict of interest. Ms. Corrington what can you tell us about Vladimir Vladimirovich? Well he really likes it when I……HEY!” She started laughing after a playful swat landed on her arse.

“Aiah, I have an interview with an American this coming week, could you come out?”

“Yes. As long as I have time to work a couple hours a day on some translations.”

The flight from Heathrow to Moscow was an early morning one and she was thankful that it was less than a four hour flight. She would arrive at roughly at noon.

Aiah had been up all night, which was nothing unusual for her. She had let Vladimir sleep while she packed and got ready. They had one last quickie before he had to leave. They would be seeing each other briefly before the interview.

Wearing dark sunglasses and earbuds so people wouldn’t bother her, a slight smile curved her dark red painted lips upwards. She thoroughly enjoyed the last few days. Thankfully he did not treat her like she was made of glass. There were few things that irritated her more than a man thinking she was fragile just because she was female.

Vladimir liked to bend her over a piece of furniture and fuck her like that. This time he just tugged her panties to the side and used her like a bitch in heat. She loved it. When they were finished, he tugged her panties back over her swollen sex. He petted her there for just a minute, stroking her through the panties. Within seconds, the fine material was soaked through from both of their orgasms. 

“Stay like that. When I see you later today I want you to return those panties to me, still warm from your body.”

She had to admit, it was a brilliant move on his part. Aiah couldn’t stop thinking about it. It kept her in a constant state of arousal and she couldn’t wait to pay him back.

Vladimir Putin was not what the propaganda made him out to be. While Aiah could attest to his virility, most of the rest of it was publicity stunts. He loved animals of all sorts but he really wasn’t a hunter. He didn’t go around shirtless or any of that nonsense. However, he was competitive in sports and enjoyed both playing and watching.

Aiah was a keen sportswoman herself and enjoyed competing against him.

Most of the image that was created by a fantastic PR team was because that is what the government thought people wanted. They weren’t wrong. The Vladimir Putin that she came to know was quiet and soft spoken. He enjoyed good food, good music, and solitude when not working. And fucking her senseless.

In many respects, he was a melancholic man. Still, he had a razor sharp wit. When they were alone he could be silly and sweet. There was something about him that intimidated most people. Aiah had figured it out to two factors outside of the sheer amount of power he commanded. His intelligence was one and you never knew what he was thinking was the other.

Neither bothered her. As a matter of fact, she loved that he was difficult to get a true read on and his intelligence was breathtaking. It still surprised Aiah that she was permitted to sit with one of the greatest political minds the world had known. Very few people sat back and simply relished that interaction.

He wasn’t social in his private time but neither was she. Aiah was not the sort that wanted to go shopping or to the cinema. The rare times she would go out with friends it was almost always to the symphony or the ballet. The one place she would willingly go to as often as possible was to the used bookshops.

The rare times that they had the opportunity to just sit and be with each other, they could go for hours without uttering a single word. They didn’t need words to speak. A touch or a smile said one thing. A kiss said something completely different.

Vladimir loved how she would lay her head on his thigh while he was reading over some important document. Occasionally, he would glance down at her and smile. Aiah’s eyes would be closed and she looked blissfully happy and serene. 

In those moments he would gently run his fingers through her dark curls. Given how often they both were in the public spotlight, the mutual comfortable silence was important.

Other times? It was all about sex. Those weekends Aiah wouldn’t bother with clothing.  Even at dinner she was bared to him. Vladimir would feed her from his fingertips with her on his lap. One hand would stroke over her skin. He was dressed on those occasions which made it all the more erotic.

What meant the most to Vladimir was that he could show his lover the side of him that no one was permitted to see otherwise. He could relax without worry with Aiah at his side. She took care of most all of his immediate needs in their times alone together. They could do things like watch movies together. Often he would sit in the kitchen while she cooked. In those moments of privacy, they both were allowed to be normal people.

That’s not to say that sex was off the table. There was just more to it than that. Aiah smiled to herself. How many years ago was it that she was given permission to cook for him? She couldn’t remember. It had always been amusing to her because she hadn’t known she wasn’t permitted to cook before then.

In the beginning there was always two members of his security team situated right outside of her closed bedroom door.  Aiah was not known for her patience with stupidity. Vladimir was finishing getting dressed and she walked out of the bedroom without a stitch on. 

Hands on her hips, she stood in front of the two men. The men had no idea what to do with their eyes. They didn’t want to offend the Prime Minister by looking at her but if they didn’t look at her they had no way of judging what she could do next.    

“Gentlemen, you might as well be in the room with us. Do you have particular positions you would like to see? I can be fairly accommodating. What about lingerie? Is there a specific type you two prefer? Oh I know, you boys like stockings and high heels right? I mean it is only fair that you should have a chance to watch. After all, the Prime Minister could become dangerously ill and have a heart attack and the time it takes you to get from here to the bed? He would be gone.”

She made her point loud and clear.

There had been a trade with the London Zoo. The Moscow Zoo had their elderly jaguar pass away. The London Zoo had lost their snow jaguar for the same reason. It wasn’t uncommon for the larger zoos to make trades or gift an animal and it was decided that they would be able to help each other out. Aiah translated in both London and Moscow for the Russian government.

She was the one that also helped raise Obsidian.  As part of her dissertation and clinical workings, she had gotten to play mum to the orphaned black jaguar. The big cat loved Aiah and would follow her around the enclosure every chance he got. He loved to play with her and she was permitted quite a bit close contact with him. If Aiah sat down, the big cat sat right down in her lap.

When the transfer of Obsidian from London to Russia occurred, she was with him the entire time. The ever watchful mum kept a careful eye on the sedated jaguar. When Obsidian was fully awake, the big cat started crying for his mother – Aiah.

There was one of the zookeepers that Aiah disliked immediately. She could sense something cruel in him even before the man laid eyes on the big cat. It kept her on alert. When he finally saw the black jaguar, the man was immediately on edge. He kept saying that Obsidian was acting odd and strangely skittish. When it got to the point that the zookeeper was saying that the animal needed to be put down, Aiah snapped at the man.

Obsidian kept hearing her voice but couldn’t see her, she tried to explain. Aiah told the man that she had been his handler since he was just two days old. The zookeeper scoffed and told her she was a fool.

There was something in the way Aiah’s lip curled upwards and the way her green eyes glittered with maliciousness that made the zookeeper take a step back. He was about to say something when she opened the door to the pen and grabbed the large bag of what were treats for the black jaguar.

Without another word, Aiah walked out into where her beloved Obsidian was.

Putin had just arrived and was about ready to have an apoplexy after seeing Aiah walk into the enclosure alone and wearing no safety gear.

With three clicks of her tongue, the 100 pound beast came running over at top speed and leapt into Aiah’s arms. This was her baby and Aiah knew exactly how to catch the big cat. He weighed only 18 pounds less than she did and she held him on her hip like she would a human child.

She began to stroke his fur and rub along his ears. Aiah spoke softly to him. He rewarded his mum with head butts and licks just as a housecat would. Setting him down, Aiah patted her shoulders. Immediately, Obsidian popped upwards and put his large front paws where she had just touched. She sang softly while they walked around.

In the light, it was obvious that the black jaguar was actually not truly black but more of a brindle. He was a beautiful animal for certain. After giving him the hand signals for down and follow, Aiah sat down on a small square of concrete so Obsidian could lay in her lap while she petted him.

To Putin, on the other side of the fence, she explained. “When Obsidian was born the mother didn’t want to have anything to do with him. As a matter of fact, she tried to kill him. I wasn’t working as often because I was finishing my PhDs. Plus I had a continual contract within London so I wasn’t leaving the country very often.  Every single day I was out there feeding, teaching him hand signals, and a lot more to the small cub. I even slept in the pen where he was kept when he was still too young to be left completely alone.”

Putin knew most of the information already. He saw Aiah during that time and enjoyed the videos she would send him.

“How did you sleep with a jaguar that close? I would be terrified.” A reporter asked.

Aiah smiled and rubbed Obsidian’s ears. He yawned, exposing his large teeth and snuggled closer to her. “He was very different from what you see now. At two days old he only weighed about a half a kilogram. Jaguars are blind for the first ten days of their lives.

When he was not wanting to take to a bottle I went and made a few shirts specifically to wear with him in mind. I was able to keep him close to my skin with hope that if he bonded with me he would feed. It worked. Jaguars are solitary creatures as adults in the wild but their cubs need constant care.”

Obsidian let out a roar which shocked a few of the journalists. He continued chattering loudly for several minutes.

“Jaguars are also very vocal. Please don’t be alarmed. He is just talking.”

“How often did you see Obsidian?” Another of the reporters asked the question.

“It depends. From two days to two years it was nearly every day. After that? As often as I could. I would fly back to London on my days off if I was working on a longer assignment just to be with him. His other keepers actually had recordings of my voice talking to Obsidian or singing to him.  He was still young enough that he would get depressed if I was gone more than a few days. So they had things like scarves and blankets that were mine. He is three now and not quite as needy but I still try to see him as often as I can.”

“Has he ever hurt you?”

“No, not really. A few scratches that were minor and a light bruise here or there.”

 “Are you afraid of him?”

“Afraid? No. Cautious, yes. Obsidian is still a wild animal. He could easily turn on me. I have a doctoral degree in zoology. I know what the risks are for both me and for him. Do not try this. Wild animals are not meant to be pets and I am a trained professional. Vladimir Vladimirovich? Would you like to pet him?” She asked. “I will take him by the collar so he cannot do much.”

What she said caused an uproar. Everyone immediately said no, that it wasn’t safe. Aiah was actually surprised because Vladimir was seen with wild cats a number of times. With all the naysayers speaking, he said yes. 

While Obsidian was normally spoken to in English, Aiah was currently speaking Russian. It didn’t matter which language she used. It was the sound of her voice and hand signals that the big cat paid attention to. When she asked him politely to get down off of her lap, he did. Because he was so docile with her, she was the one that designed a special type of leather collar for him.

The collar, when changed, became a harness and a leash. There was a release for safety but it was impossible for the cat to get to. Not only was it used for handling and identification, it was easier to work with him as well. Aiah smiled and held her hand out to him. Obsidian promptly laid his paw over her hand.

Putin handed his jacket to someone and his tie before entering the cage with Aiah. She instructed Vladimir to come closer slowly and stop for a moment every 10 steps. The big cat watched him for a moment before turning his attention back to Aiah. 

There was no one as stunned as she was when the President of the Russian Federation sat down beside her in a nearly $17,000 dollar suit. Directing Obsidian’s attention with a gentle stroke to his nose, she gave him the sign for friend and told him to shake hands.

Obsidian offered his paw to Vladimir.

Like many cats, wild or domesticated, Obsidian was a curious creature. He was very curious about the man sitting next to his mum. Aiah was rubbing his ears when he offered his paw to Putin on his own. It made Vladimir smile and he gave the paw a shake. Almost immediately Obsidian was giving head butts against the President’s arm.

Aiah beamed a smile like a proud mother. “You can pet him Vladimir Vladimirovich.”

And he did. He stroked a hand over the jaguar’s fur and head. It was obvious that the jaguar kept looking to Aiah for reassurance.

He rubbed under the jaguar’s neck. “I understand Obsidian. If I had to pick between a pretty girl and an old man? I would pick the pretty girl too.” He looked like a cheeky lad for a moment while Aiah blushed brightly.

He sat with his lover playing with the jaguar for a good half hour.  

She waited for Putin to exit before she set the collar back to its normal look. Obsidian head butted Aiah in the chest to knock her down. He didn’t actually knock her down as much as she fell backwards on purpose. She knew what her baby was wanting to do. He laid across her chest and snuggled in close.  

The zookeeper that called Aiah a fool stepped into pen. He was not going to permit the woman to outshine him when it came to the big cats. Immediately Obsidian started growl. The growls were warnings and soon the jaguar began to roar while standing guard over his mum.

“Get out. Now. Go slowly.”

The large beast started to yowl and hiss. Distracting Obsidian, Aiah nuzzled close to her baby.

She answered a few more questions and gave the large cat the last of the treats. It was time to go, sadly.  She smothered Obsidian’s face and head with kisses. Aiah shed her heavy fleece jacket and gave it to the jaguar to have until she could see him again.

All of it had been recorded. The full video went viral within an hour of it being posted. Once again, nobody seemed to realize that she was Putin’s lover.

Aiah had never asked Vladimir for anything, until now. She asked if it were possible to get her some sort of permission so she could see Obsidian whenever she was in Moscow. The second request was to make sure that the zookeeper would be forced to stay far away from the big cat.

That was a deadly attack waiting to happen.

Aiah was given permission. He would not deny her something like that. There was very little that he would actually deny her. The man who snapped at Aiah was fired. Vladimir had considered simply relocating the man but decided it was not in the best interest of the animals. Plus, by Aiah working with the zookeepers and showing them the known hand signals, Obsidian’s life would be far richer.  

It wasn’t until three years later that Aiah no longer went into the huge enclosure with Obsidian. He had been given a mate and would be a new Papa soon. Even then, she would see him when he was separated from his mate. She would also go to the edge of the enclosure, which was a safe area for the handlers and keepers, to talk to her boy.

It wasn’t just with animals that she had vast amounts of knowledge. Aiah extremely savvy when it came to knowing what was going on in the world politically. She had to be, especially with Russian, American, and UK politics. Because of that, she never denied the flaws of her lover.

In the eyes of the United States, Putin was a despotic and sometimes tyrannical leader. He was considered a dictator to the American public. Granted nearly every world leader could be, at least on occasion.

Was it more pronounced with him? Yes.

She wouldn’t deny that. Some of the time it was just that it appeared to be. With his former career in the KGB he had learned the art of a poker face when it was needed, just as Aiah had because of her work. Nobody ever knew what he was thinking if he did not want them to.

Putin could also be crude and thoughtless at times, especially when it came to women. Aiah would tell him when something he said bothered her and why. He had made a crude statement about rape that bothered her greatly.

“Vladimir?”

He looked up from whatever document he was reading.

“What would you do if I said that Dmitry Medvedev raped me?”

“Aiah, has he laid his hands on you?! I will kill anyone that touches you inappropriately.” The words alone were savage but the look in his eyes was murderous.

“No, the only time he has ever touched me was to shake my hand. Dmitry is a good man. Besides, Svetlana would see to his death before you ever had a chance.”

Immediately, he realized she was chastising him gently. “Kitten, sometimes I am a foolish man.” He sighed. “I understand what you mean, I shall apologize tomorrow. For now, I am sorry I spoke poorly and it bothered you. ”

Aiah had the luxury of a different understanding of Russian government and politics. Westerners tended to think that because the people of Russia looked like them, they thought like them as well.

Not necessarily.

Technology was beginning to change that but many of the citizens, including their President, had lived under communist rule in the not so distant past. It was more than that. Just by placement of the countries on the planet, there was a difference to the ways of thinking. History, people, times and so much more made a chasm between Russia and the western world.

An unspoken rule between Aiah and Putin was they didn’t speak of other lovers. While more than happy to play the role of a slut, Aiah didn’t sleep around. She had 4 lovers in 14 years and the relationships were varying in their degrees of seriousness.

Because of the non-monogamous status she kept to, Aiah was responsible when it came to sex. She took Truvada to lessen the chance of contracting HIV. Not desiring to get pregnant, implanted birth control was used by her. Condoms were a must by the men she slept with. The only one she didn’t use a condom with was Vladimir. So, every three months she had a complete STI panel ran. 

Aiah always told people the truth when it came to sex. Monogamy would never happen with her. She used protection and expected her partners to do the same. While never forbidden to speak of Putin, she never told a soul about the secret relationship.

There was a very good chance she would be meeting Alina Kabaeva sometime in the next two weeks. The Olympic medalist was thought to be the girlfriend of Vladimir Putin for a while now and the mother of up to three of his children – depending on which news agency you listened to.  Aiah had no idea if the rumors were true. It was none of her business. Still, she prepared herself mentally for such a meeting.

While the interview was of no concern, the following week when Tobias Corrington and Joseph Bryce arrived would be problematic more than likely. Both father and godfather were both over protective of her.  

Aiah was startled out of her reverie by a flight attendant.

“My apologies, I didn’t catch what you said.” She responded in Russian and pulled out the ear buds.

“Let me get someone else to help you. I don’t speak Russian.” It was the only words in Russian the attendant knew.

“You are fine. I speak English.” Aiah smiled. She could tell by the woman’s accent that she was British.

“Oh! Thank you. This is not my normal flight and I feel a bit lost ma’am. Would you like something to drink?”

“San Pellegrino with a bit of lemon please?”

“Yes ma’am.”

An hour later she was striding towards the baggage claim area to get her luggage and then to hail a cab. She looked almost exactly as she was, like a business woman arriving for an important meeting. These were Aiah’s casual clothes. Black kitten heeled d’Orsay pumps paired well with a little black dress that was perfectly modest in most ways. A black cashmere cardigan topped everything off. The heavier coat was over her arm and a purse was in her hand.

She was waiting to get her luggage when a large hand clamped down on her shoulder.  

“Touch me again and I shall keep what you touch me with as a souvenir.” She didn’t bother to turn around. She didn’t need to.

“Ms. Corrington.”

 “Correct.”

“You have a car waiting to take you to the Kremlin.”

“Oh I bet you say that to all the girls.” She did turn around that time and smiled brightly. “A pleasure to see you again Vasili.” Vasili was the head of her detail when she came to work in Russia. He liked to give her a bit of a hard time. Aiah, of course, returned the favor in kind.

“It is a pleasure to see you as well.” He nodded with a smile. “Your luggage has already been taken to the car, just the one piece correct? Is there anything else you need?”

“No, not at all. I have everything with me except the luggage you already took. You are, as always, very efficient. I am impressed. Thank you Vasili.” It was always a source of amusement with Aiah that the hulking giant smiled far more often than most any Russian she knew.  As vicious as the FSO agent could be when it came to his job, Vasili Ponomaryov was a jovial man.

The large man beamed with the praise and escorted her outside. A state limo was waiting for her. This was a bit more over the top than she was used to. Vasili was right behind her and when he opened the door, she saw why.

The President of the Russian Federation was wearing all black and disappeared in the shadow of the back seat. She almost laughed but instead she dropped her clutch. Bending down to pick it up, she was blocked by the door and the bodyguard. It gave her enough time to whip off her panties and hide them. The ties at the side made it easy to do. Sliding in quickly, she sat opposite of him.

“Good afternoon President Putin, thank you for picking me up. That was very generous of you.”

He slid the security panel into place with just a touch of a finger. “Did you have a good flight Kitten?”

“Partially. I was a tad uncomfortable the entire flight.”

He frowned. “What was wrong? Turbulence?”

“No. Someone I know played a very cruel trick on me.”

Before he could reply she dropped her still wet panties in his lap.

“I may have besmirched your fine name a few times, silently of course, Vladimir.”

“I’ll live with it.” He smiled at her. “Come here Kitten. I have missed you.”

Aiah moved to the seat next to him and kissed his cheek. “You just saw me eight hours ago.”

“I cannot miss you?”

“Of course you can. Volodya, you would tell me if something was wrong yes?” She never called him Volodya except when she was concerned for him. It was a common nickname for Vladimir. Aiah tended not to use diminutives for Russian names, unless specifically asked to do so. It was only to give herself another degree of separation while looking professional.

“Yes, I would.”

“Can you promise me?”

“Yes. I promise you Kitten. Do you know an American by the name of Oliver Smith?”

“The filmmaker? I know the name. He has worked with my father before.”

“He is the one conducting a series of interviews that will be put together over the course of a couple of years and turned into a documentary.”

“Isn’t Sergei Chudinov going to do the translating?”

“Yes. I need someone I trust as back up.”

 Aiah was somewhat surprised.

“Yes?” There was the barest hint of annoyance in his voice.

“You trust your English tart more than some of your own countrymen. I am surprised.”

He stared at her for a moment before giving a sharp nod. “Yes.” He offered her his hand.

Taking it, Aiah looked at Vladimir. “I have upset you.”

“No, Kitten. I am not upset. You and I? We think differently on certain things. It is not bad. It is just the different lives we have led.”

“I don’t understand.”

“When we are together, you have me at my most vulnerable.”

Her brow creased thinking about what he just said.

“When we are together for something outside of our business relationship, we spend most of our time alone. No matter how well I am guarded or how well a building is guarded it would never be enough if it was you that tried to hurt me or kill me. Aiah, I am at your utter mercy. I have no choice but to trust you absolutely and completely, especially since we are as equals sparring against one another.”

 “Vladimir, I would never do such a thing. Ever. I would take my own life before I would ever do anything to hurt you.”

“That is why I trust you as I do. I know this. I know you would fight for me, just as I would for you.”

“You’re right. I would.”

Immediately, she switched to the other side once again, they were too close to the Kremlin.

“Only one suitcase Kitten?” Leaning towards her, he took her hand once more.

“I have most of what I need already here Vladimir. Although I did bring a couple of new things that you may like. May I have my panties back?”

He smirked. “Nyet.

Putin went through a list of where everything would be happening for the next few days. This would normally not be done by him but he had told his staff that he wished to do it. Aiah was in business mode while they walked around. No one would ever believe that they were fucking on a fairly regular basis. Or that her panties were safe and sound in his breast pocket.

When they went into his office, everything changed as the door was locked behind them. He kissed her lips softly while looking into her eyes.

“You will stay with me.” He didn’t ask a question.

“I suppose that is fair. Since you just stayed with me.” She smiled. “I do need to pick up some things from my home first.”

“Perhaps. Or perhaps I will keep you naked.”

“You would never get any work done. You realize this?”

“This is sounding like an even better idea.”

“You would go through people far too fast. A man that stared? You would end up with Siberia being over populated.”

He laughed. “I see your point.”

The following day, Aiah stayed in the background while all the introductions were made between security and the American film crew. Rules and how things would be handled were being discussed. Anyone looking at her would think that Aiah was bored and waiting. She was waiting but she was far from bored. She listened to everything said.

5

4

3

2

1

Vladimir Putin entered the room. Aiah was so knowledgeable about how his entrances were handled she counted down to the final moment. She was correct, as usual. Wearing a black knee length fitted dress, she blended into the background for those that were not used to her. When she heard her name, Aiah stepped forward. The men were all surprised when she came closer to them. None of the Americans had noticed her, which was what she wanted.

She wore heels that flashed a red sole with each step. Her lips were glossy and nude and when the corners lifted into a smile?  More than one man there wondered how those full lips would feel on their cock.  The one man that knew smiled over the reactions of the others.

Knowing she wouldn’t be needed as an actual interpreter, Aiah left her hair down. The riot of lush curls distracted from her beautiful pale green eyes that she kept lowered. It wasn’t until Putin said something offhand that she raised her gaze to the men around her. Heavy lidded eyes and a smile that could lead any man astray, she was a picture of professionalism while being one of the most seductive of teases at the same time.

“Vladimir Vladimirovich, thank you.” Aiah smiled.

“Mr. Smith, this is one of my other interpreters that will be with me while we speak. Aiah, please permit me to introduce to you Oliver Smith.”

“It’s a pleasure.” Smith said and shook her hand. He was a well-traveled man and liked to show off his knowledge. “You must be from St. Petersburg by your accent?”

Chuckling softly, Aiah responded in English. “I have been told I sound like I am from St. Petersburg when I speak Russian but alas, I am not. I am from London actually.”

“Have we met before?”

“Possibly, I am not sure Sir. If we did it was when I was just a child. You have however met with my father before, Major General Tobias Corrington of Texas.”

“I do remember you. You were just a little girl. You father was helping me with something. How is it that you are working in the Kremlin?” Smith was surprised.

Her laugh was warm and sweet sounding. “You also are working at the Kremlin Mr. Smith. Is that different?”

Putin maintained his stony appearance while Sergei translated. “Aiah is on contract to assist us during the interviews and will fill in when Sergei is needing to take a break.”

The Americans were there for a period of four days. For Aiah, it was a very long four days. It had nothing to do with the actual work, for that part was simple. It was the constant male attention that almost drover her insane. Nobody would dare touch her, thankfully. If she wasn’t with Putin, Vasili or one of his men were close. Which was odd. Normally she didn’t need security inside of the Kremlin.

On the very last day Putin had to pause the interview to take care of something. Sergei Chudinov, the interpreter, took a brief break as well. He left Aiah with the crew in case they were in need of something.

“Ms. Corrington, do you often work in Russia?”

“Yes. I spend about 6-7 months out of the year here.” She smiled. “Not all at the same time, mind you. It might be a month here and then two days there.”

 “What do you do for fun while you are here?”

“Me personally? As an English speaker? Or?”

“Start with you personally?”

Looking thoughtful, she tapped her fingers on the table. “It depends on the time of year and my mood. I enjoy sports and play a fair number of them recreationally. That is normally what you would find me doing. I am most likely to be found searching for something unusual in a book seller’s shop.”

“No crazy nightlife for you?” He chuckled.

“Never was something I was interested it.”

“What about for a tourist?”

“There are all the usual tourist places to go. Red Square is probably among the most popular or Gorky Park.”

“Something different?”

“You really are asking the wrong person Mr. Smith. I love to go to the Pushkin museum and things like that. I may have been there 100 times and I will go still. Actually, I am wrong. One thing I would recommend is the subterranean Neglinnaya River. It’s done with tour guides and is wonderfully odd and creepy.” Immediately she stood, Aiah could tell by the vibration of footsteps that Putin was returning. “If you will excuse me please? I will be right behind you if you need me.”

She didn’t have any sort of 6th sense. No, Aiah was attuned to the strike of many soles upon the floor. It signaled that someone important was coming. She stepped back from the table and waited. Several men stepped in first. Putin walked in with Sergei Chudinov following behind. It was a half of a breath later than the security team entered and fanned out.  

One hour later, the American film team was gone and Aiah breathed a sigh of relief. That meant she had three full days before her father and President Bryce arrived. Right now all she wanted to do was go practice. It didn’t matter if it was Judo, Krav Maga, or fencing. Whomever had an opening would be fine with her. Turning, she went to grab her things.

Then she was told that the President wished to see her. Nodding, she was escorted down to his office and announced. She was admitted immediately.

“You were leaving?”

“For a bit yes. You said you would be busy for about four hours. I was going to go abuse my body and then return.”

“I do not get first chance to abuse you? Aiah….” His blue eyes sparkled with more than their fair share of mischief. “I am disappointed.”

“Do you have time to fight it out with me on the mats? Or fuck me savagely over your desk?”

“No. I wish I did. Take Vasili and one of his men. Get what you need from your flat and meet me at 21:00 at home.”

“What’s wrong?” 

“It is nothing, I am just a little anxious of Bryce’s arrival.”

“Oh? Is there a reason?” Rarely was he anxious about leaders of other countries.

“I am going to be meeting Bryce as a different man next week. He is not the President of the United States but your Uncle Joseph and your Papa will be there as well.”

“I never looked at it that way. Great. You and I can be anxious together.”

“Oh. It will be more interesting than just that.”

Aiah looked at him, questioningly.

“We will be having a private dinner at my home with Bryce, your father and you.  I will have Anton Vaino with me and one of my interpreters.”

“Which home?”

“Novo-Ogaryovo.”

 “You are trying to get me in trouble Vladimir!” She laughed warmly.

“Aiah, no. I wouldn’t do that.” He was serious.

“I can just see someone asking for the lavatory and me responding casually to where the closest one is. Or better yet Yume or Buffy being silly and me giving them a command? Good lord, I am going to have an ulcer by Thursday.”

“Everything will be fine Aiah.”

“I know. I was just enjoying the chance to tease you.”

Taking her hand in his, he led her to a chair to sit. “I have a proposition for you.”

“I’m being propositioned by President Putin?” There was something naughty in her smile.

 Sighing, he shook his head. “Kitten, whatever am I going to do with you?”

“I have a few ideas………..”

His laugh was soft. “You would be paid quite well…”

“This conversation is quite interesting Sir.” She was fighting to hold back her laughter.

“I am in need of your services…” Shaking his head again, Putin rolled his eyes. “Now you have me doing it. We shall talk of this later. I do have a request of you.”

“Yes?”

“Stay with me until Monday night.”

“Vladimir, you know I cannot. I have to keep everything looking professional come Monday. I would rather not have one of your men murder my father because he found out about us and was trying to strangle you.” She tried for levity.

“I want you with me Aiah. Stop and pick up anything you may need from your home before going to mine tonight. Or I will have Vasili take you home early Monday morning so that you may get ready.”

She looked at him for a moment. Something was wrong. Her lover was never like this. “Okay.”

“Does this mean you will stay?”

“Yes, of course.” She kissed his lips. “I never can say no to you it seems.”

The closer she got to Vladimir, Aiah noticed that her security became heavier. She was escorted by the two men up to her penthouse flat while she packed a bag that would get her through Monday. Downstairs, a car was waiting for them.  She had no idea if there was more security or not.

There was.

Aiah had no idea the sheer amount of security that surrounded her all the time. Her large flats were guarded day and night both in Moscow and in London. Her other homes would be swept and watched around the clock two weeks before she would use them. It wasn’t just for her safety but for Putin’s as well.

She did not go to the United States very often. Aiah didn’t feel safe there for a multitude of reasons. That was one of the few places that she didn’t have Russian security. Due to her closeness with President Bryce and his family, she normally stayed with them in some fashion. If she was at the White House, she was well protected in general. She would stay in the residence with her Auntie. If it was for something larger, she would be at the family ranch in Texas which was also heavily guarded. 

Truthfully, it felt ridiculous to her even having Vasili. Still, she appreciated the sentiment. Musing over things, Aiah wasn’t sure what was going on. Vladimir, like herself, was not one to cling on to another person. Was something wrong? She would mull it over when she warmed up.

Aiah was finally at the end of her warm up. Aleksandr Nikolaichev was her trainer and sparring partner. He owned the gym that she trained at in Moscow. He was a brutal and worked her half to death, which was what she wanted. Since he hadn’t seen her in nearly a month, he made the warmup as vicious as he possibly could. By the end of it? She looked as if she had dived into a pool. Between her clothing and hair?  If she wrung them out she would fill a cup.

“You are a WEAK child Aiah! What the fuck have you been doing? Laying on your back like a slut?” The words might seem mean to anyone else, but Aiah could hear the pride him the man’s voice.

“Something like that you bastard!” She bared her teeth at him.

Vasili stood off to the side in one direction and Kolya stood off to the side on the other. Both men took their job of protecting Aiah seriously. However, it went beyond just their training. She was kind to them and their families.

Vasili was not married nor would he ever marry. He did have nieces and nephews that adored Aiah’s programs. She had them sitting front and center at several of the shows and even treated them to a luxurious lunch. She did the same for Kolya and his four boys.

They always asked their father about what it was like to be near Aiah and Vasili was given the same questions by his nieces and nephews. There were 10 children that ranged from 12 years old down to 5 years old between the two men.

Before Obsidian was given a mate, she took them all to the Moscow zoo to meet the big cat. They had walked around and seen all the animals prior to closing. After closing they went to meet Obsidian.

While they were not allowed behind the fence, the children enjoyed themselves greatly. Even more so when Vladimir Vladimirovich showed up unannounced and bought them all ice cream. When no one was looking, Putin stole a bite of her cone. Aiah quickly ducked back to the gated entrance to Obsidian’s environment so she could laugh. Kolya went to find her and was quite confused upon seeing her laughing.

When he reported back to the President, he noticed there was a gleam of mischief in Putin’s eyes. Both men knew that Aiah was involved with the President. Neither would ever betray their President or Aiah as a matter of personal honor, never mind the consequences of actually doing so.

Vasili and Kolya knew how hard she worked to strengthen her own body and to learn to fight at a level very few could hope to obtain. She would spar with them both on occasion and they would teach her other tricks that could help her in an emergency situation. The men knew something that the President didn’t know at the time. They knew the secret of why she trained like she did.

To top everything off, Aleksandr was a close personal friend of the President, which was why she trained at the gym. He was a harsh but fair trainer. He would rarely let her get away with anything. The man schooled her in many different ways in regards to how she kept fit. Aiah was learning the Russian martial art sambo via him. Aleksandr had even found her a good Russian trainer in London as well.

Three hours after she entered the gym, Aiah was laying on a mat laughing. It was the first time that she had taken Aleksandr down in all three disciplines more often than he took her down. When he realized that, he gave her the biggest pouty face she had ever seen.

“Head to the showers girl. I am proud of you. You have bragging rights now.”

“Now? Now? Oh no. I have HAD bragging rights. I just got even better bragging rights!”

Aleksandr laughed and nodded. “You are correct. I may never live this down. Go get cleaned up. I was informed you had a curfew this evening.” He offered her a hand up.

Taking his proffered hand, she hopped back to her feet and hugged him. “Thank you Aleksandr.”

Going back to the locker room, her bodyguards followed. They stood near the showers to make sure no one bothered Aiah. The gym was technically co-ed. Yet, Aiah was the only woman that trained there outside of Aleksandr’s family. She showered and changed quickly, always. It wasn’t for her comfort that she did so, it was for the comfort of the men.

Foot firmly on the bench, Aiah bent forward to tie her shoe after changing into leggings and one of Vladimir’s sweatshirts that she may or may not have procured without his knowledge. A few men drifted in to the locker room. The last man to enter must have been daft.

He saw the lovely target that was her arse and smacked Aiah soundly on her upturned bum.

There wasn’t even time for Aiah to turn around to see who the idiot was before Kolya had the man held up off the ground and into a solid wall. Vasili, on the other hand, grabbed her and rushed her out to the waiting car. Getting in, the driver drove off quickly with her and Vasili both. Kolya would call for another car to take him to the residence of the President when he was finished.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

Aiah arrived at the residence and was escorted upstairs immediately. Her bags arrived about five minutes later. She ran back down the stairs and walked to Vladimir’s private office in the residence. The door was open, which was a rarity. Stepping in, she waited.

“Yes Aiah?”

“May I speak to you privately please? I won’t take up much of your time Vladimir Vladimirovich.”

He nodded to her before telling the two men to wait outside. She waited until the door was closed.

“Vladimir, Vasili and Kolya acted within your wishes.”

“Someone laid their hands on you Aiah!”

“Well, hand to be fair but I do not have the parameters you do for how close people may get to me. Yes, a man slapped my arse. Immediately, Kolya had the man against the wall. Kolya was so fast that I never actually saw the man. I was put in the car within seconds. It was not their fault.”

Through gritted teeth he spoke. “Nobody is to lay their hands on you Aiah! Especially in MY country!”

“We do not have that sort of arrangement Vladimir. If I wished to fuck another man this very moment, I have the freedom to do so. And while it was an unwanted touch it is YOU that permits this sort of thing to happen.”

He stared at her for a full minute before speaking. The anger in his tone was apparent. “Explain yourself.”

Meeting his gaze, she was unafraid. “How often do you say something that speaks of women as a piece of meat instead of your equal?” Aiah arched an eyebrow. “The people of your country take their cues from you Vladimir. The man slapped me on my arse because he felt he had the right to do so. Vasili and Kolya acted exactly as they were supposed to. They got me to a secure spot and they took care of the man that laid his hand on me. After Kolya is done with him? I am certain that the man will be afraid to touch his own arse.”

Cocking her head to the side, she looked at him. “I know some of it is misinterpreted. I also know that outside of the bed we share, you always treat me as your equal. If you want the men of your country to do so with women? You have to speak of women as more than a pretty piece of meat.”

“You are the only person that I would allow to speak to me this way.” There was an edge to his voice that exposed his anger.

Stepping closer, she draped her forearms over his shoulders. Her lips sought out his in a tender kiss. “That is because you know I speak only the truth to you.”

“Aiah, you and I come from a different time and place.”

“We do. Still, you and I are both able to adapt as we feel that we need to. Please do not be angry at Vasili and Kolya. They keep me safe and I trust them. I trust them both with my life. I will acquiesce to your better judgement. Besides, the faster you are done down here means the faster I get to romp with you naked upstairs.”

“You drive a hard bargain.”

Chuckling lowly, her lips teased against his ear. “No Vladimir.” Her hand pressed against the front of his slacks, cupping around his cock. “You are the one that drives a hard…..bargain.”

“Go back upstairs. I will finish with the men and I will be up very soon.”

“You better. Or I will take matters into my own hands.” She smirked when he chuckled.

Thirty minutes later Vladimir Putin walked up the stairs.

Right at the last step was an envelope with his name on it. Picking it up and opening it, he smiled.

Inside was a picture of Aiah in the shower. She was making use of that mini-printer she had purchased. All that could be seen was the water pouring down her back. Written on the picture was: Do you feel how fucking wet I am right now?  THAT’S what you do to me.

The next envelope was labeled simple with a number 2. Chuckling he opened that one too. The picture was soft lips and glossy pink mouth suckling on her finger.  I want to taste you.

The third one made him smile wide. And it doesn’t matter where you wish to fuck me. As long as you do fuck me. Two pictures that time, one of her round ass in panties and the other with her hand shoved down the front of those panties.  

The fourth envelope was a picture of her breasts. Vladimir could tell her back was arched in the picture. He knew how her body moved. Now? Now he was aching for his Kitten. I want you every hour, every minute, and every day.

The final envelope had been placed right past the doorway to his bedroom. Inside was a picture of her wrists tied together with a ribbon. What is it that you desire? I’m yours to command, correct and control.

The room was dark and he had to permit his eyes to adjust a few seconds before he saw her. Aiah knelt upon the expensive rug at the foot of his bed. A heavy piece of silk was tied over her eyes. While her back was straight, Aiah’s head tilted downwards.

She wore a single garment besides the blindfold. What she wore was splendid and wholly erotic. Vladimir would even dare to say exquisite.  The expensive and delicate pair of high rise briefs hid nothing from his eyes as they were made from the sheerest threads. Tiny buttons trailed down from the waist to right above the perfect little cleft of her arse. Embroidered with beautiful artisanal accents, the fine tulle was nearly completely transparent. It accentuated his partner’s hips and with the swirls of embroidery it looked as if it was a pattern showing where to touch her. Not that he needed the pattern, he knew her body better than he knew his own.

To Putin she was as she was meant to be, beautiful and wholly female.

Her beauty was on display for him alone. She was always ladylike, except the gym. There was a softness to her that he cherished. Briefly, he closed his eyes. Catching the fragrance perfume and the scent of arousal, he smiled.

“Hello Kitten.”

“Hello Vladimir Vladimirovich.”

“Give me your hand.”

Aiah raised her right hand to about level with the top of her ear, palm upwards. Gently, he helped her to her feet. Wrapping his arms around her sleek body, he cradled her close to him for a few minutes. Fingertips traced downwards, following her spine. The curve of her bottom was shown to perfection in what she was wearing.

He traced over her body while keeping her close to him. She couldn’t see him through the blindfold but every shiver of pleasure and every sigh of delight that left her lips made him smile. Sweeping his arm behind the back of her knees, he picked her up and placed her on the bed.  

The blindfold was kept on her. It gave him the chance to gaze upon the beautiful woman in his bed without feeling self-conscious for boldly staring. Vladimir permitted his gaze to linger over his lover.  

To him, Aiah was a wholly different creature than the ones he knew. There was something about her that soothed his savagery. Rarely did he show that part of himself to anyone but it still coursed through his veins. It was a natural impulse within him, yet she somehow gentled that part of him. It was like the black jaguar. Obsidian was sweet with his human mother but if he perceived that someone was bothering her? He would attack. Vladimir knew he was not much different.

When Aiah looked at him, there was always something that told Putin she cared deeply for him. It wasn’t just one thing either. It was the way she changed when she saw him. There was something about her soft full mouth that curved upwards into more of a smile. Her eyes sparkled with joy. Her body seemed to open more.

He didn’t see it at first. Perhaps it was because they weren’t together as often? He didn’t know. For the last eight years he studied her. For eight very long years he watched Aiah closely. He watched her body language with others and never once saw it replicated to another person besides him. What did that mean? Could it be possible that she cared more deeply than she let on? He didn’t know.

Pausing, he kissed her gently. He smiled upon pulling back, she had the look again. No matter where they were, he was the most important man in the room when it came to Aiah. It had nothing to do with his position. She was a rare one that he could be his true self with.

He had been insecure as a young man when it came to women. Part of that was his height. He had been teased on and off for many years about it. Women always seemed to want the tall, dark and handsome types. He was none of that.

When he was working for the KGB, he manufactured confidence. It helped him tremendously when Vladimir started his political career. Even when he went to the US to meet with the then President George W. Bush so much was false bravado on his part. Thinking back to those suits he wore, he cringed.

His public relations team helped to change that.

He was not a fool. Money, prestige and power helped change how women viewed him. Women wanted to be seen on his arm because of what he was, not who he was in his very core. Then there was Aiah. They were never seen alone together, ever. She didn’t want to go out. She didn’t want gifts.

He didn’t feel the confidence slip away when she wore heels and stood taller than he. He didn’t feel it budge when they sparred on the mats and she flipped him to his stomach. Instead, she bolstered his confidence.

There were only a select few people that knew about Aiah sharing his bed. There had been no pictures of them together outside of what was expected, such as them with the black jaguar Obsidian. Vladimir and Aiah had over ten years of history together. She was a beautiful woman in body, mind and spirit. He knew that she was highly sought after as a single woman. How could that not bolster any man’s confidence?

Pulling the blindfold off, he looked down at her. She smiled in return. Sliding her arms around him, her lips pressed to his. Vladimir could feel the passion race through his veins. Touching her cheek lovingly, their gazes met.

“Not in the mood?”

“No, I am very much in the mood Kitten. I want to make love to you. I want to look into your eyes and see down to your very soul. Is that alright?” His voice changed with those last three words. He wanted it to be alright. He wanted it to be more than alright. He wanted her to glimpse at him in an utterly different way.

“Alright with me?” She laughed softly and kissed him again. “Of course it is. Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, as long as you are happy I am happy.” She meant every word.

They made love that night. Each touch was a whispered caress of love. Kisses that lasted forever spoke words that neither would dare to permit leave their lips. Dragging her arms up over her head, he wouldn’t permit her to touch him.

The way Aiah’s eyes widened brought a smile to his lips. “Are you going to be a good girl?”

Tipping her head back she laughed lowly. The sound was like velvet drawn across skin. A smile curved those full lips and their gazes locked. There was a curl of her lip and she continued to stare into his blue-grey eyes.

“No.”

“That’s my girl.”

They spent the next three days side by side. It was comforting to both of them to simply share space as they did.

“Vladimir? Do you know of a Valentin Tupitsyn?”

“Yes.” He frowned. “Why do you ask?”

“I have received a potential contract from him. I know I have heard the name but can’t place it.”

“May I see?”

“Of course.” She handed him her laptop.

He gave it back to her and quickly grabbed his phone. Within minutes, five men that she had never seen before entered the room.  They asked for her laptop which she gave them without question. Vasili came in as well.

Vladimir picked up her hand and held it while he was speaking. Valentin Tupitsyn was what was considered a ‘thief in law’. The crime boss was notorious around the world in arms dealings. He was also extremely wealthy. It could be that the potential contract coming to Aiah was an actual contract. It could also be something dangerous. When the men all left, he looked to her with a gentle smile.

“Shall we retire Aiah?”

“Yes, please.”

While they may have gone to bed, they didn’t sleep.

Vladimir was about to say something and stopped. Aiah was wearing nothing but a bra and knicker set. The bra was plain black satin but the cups were cut down so her nipples remained exposed. The knickers were nothing but straps of black satin that wove their way around her to form a strappy cage. It hid absolutely nothing.

“Is this for me?”

“Of course.” Biting her lip, she lowered her gaze. “Vladimir, you are the only man I would wear something like this for.” Aiah was embarrassed.

Somehow knowing she was embarrassed by her own words meant the world to him. “Come here Kitten.”

She did as asked. Wrapping his arm around her waist, he jerked her closer to him. His hands stroked over her. By god she is beautiful, thought Putin. While slender, she had a perfect hourglass figure. Dipping his head down, he kissed each nipple. The whimpering cry that left her lips made him smile.

The sun was coming up when they finally fell asleep.

Less than 24 hours later, Aiah was applying her lipstick with a well-practiced hand. Putin came up behind her. Turning around to face him, she smiled softly.

“You look beautiful Kitten.” He appeared pleased.

“Thank you.” She smiled.

Dark curling hair was pulled back into a lush volumized ponytail. She always kept her hair away from her face while working. Her dress was of the softest of silks and flowed around her like dark water.  The silk shifted subtly with her movements so that it would cling to her slender figure for half a heartbeat and then change once more. The length, a couple inches below the knee, gave it a modest appearance.

If one was paying attention, it was anything but modest. The dress caressed her and emphasized her beauty. The neckline was rounded and the way the material clung to her full breasts, made them all the more obvious.

Everything from head to heel spoke of things far more important than money, she was a woman of both kindness and elegance.

Her only jewelry was a pair of diamond solitaire earrings and a platinum bracelet. Like the rest of what she wore, it was to accent rather than outshine.

Putin was enchanted by the way she looked. She looked utterly touchable and he wanted to touch her everywhere. Even now, he ached to take her to their shared bed and love her throughout the night.

A single finger followed the curve of her breasts, stroking with the lightest of touches. “I was going to tease and torment you earlier and not allow you to orgasm.” He admitted.

“Oh. You are wicked. Very wicked. I’m glad you let me cum on your cock. Thank you.”

He laughed quietly. “It is I who should be thanking you. I realized I would be denying myself as well.” He looked into her eyes. “I would have been dangerous to be around and a poor host.” He brushed his thumb across her full lips. She drew his thumb between her lips and suckled. “You sitting at that table with your beautiful mouth Kitten? Someone would have gotten hurt.”

Her lips parted just enough that she released his thumb. “I would be more than happy to make sure right this very moment you would be a better host.”

“We would be late to my own dinner.”

“True.  I would make sure you wouldn’t care if you were late.”

“I still have business to speak to you about after the Americans leave.”

“Are you going to proposition me again?”

“Yes.” He smiled at her.

“You know I would most likely agree to your wishes?”

“Of course. Shall we go downstairs?”

Kissing his cheek, she would enter from a different direction where as he went directly down the formal staircase. Her arrival was noted by the others since the President was busy for a moment elsewhere. Respectfully, Aiah stayed away from the group of men. If they needed to speak quietly, she wasn’t within hearing range.

When Putin walked in, Aiah noticed how the men’s posture all changed. They were all on high alert. She however didn’t change at all. She kept her eyes averted from the small group while waiting. One man was completely unfamiliar to her, she assumed he was a new interpreter. After speaking with the men for a few moments, Putin beckoned her over.

“Good evening Vladimir Vladimirovich.” She greeted him warmly.

“Good evening to you as well Ms. Corrington. You have met my Chief of Staff, I believe. Anton Eduardovich Vaino.”

“Yes Sir. A pleasure to see you again Anton Eduardovich.” She couldn’t stand the man. There was something about him that made her skin crawl. 

“I do not believe you have met my newest interpreter, Turov Yuriev.” Putin’s attention was diverted. “Pardon me, I will return shortly.” He stepped away a moment for a call.

“No, I don’t believe I have. A pleasure.”

Tall and thin, Yuriev towered over Aiah. She looked up to say something and caught the man staring down the front of her dress, or trying to at least. Vaino saw it too. He snapped at the younger man to follow him.

She breathed a sigh of thanks. Vaino may have made her skin crawl but he knew that if the boy had gotten caught leering it would not be pleasant. Vaino wasn’t sure if Putin was fucking the pretty little interpreter but it was still a dangerous game for anyone to play.

In front of most everyone, Vladimir treated Aiah as a professional but also as a friend. Anyone caught disrespecting her would raise Putin’s ire in ways that were better left unknown. She saw it happen once. It was ugly.

Aiah was uncertain who all knew about the affair between her and Vladimir. The security and some of the staff members knew. Those closest to him had to know, she figured.

“Something wrong?” Putin came up from behind her.

“Yes.”

He was surprised and looked it.

“I’m about to see my family and all I can think of is your cock.” The words were whispered.

He chuckled and smiled. “Am I going to have to have you strip your panties off? They are coming up the drive now, would you like to greet your father and godfather first?”

“Why President Putin, you assume I am wearing panties. Bold.” She winked. “Yes, thank you. I haven’t seen my father in six months.”

“Go, go say hello to your Papa. Aiah, I have not told the others of your relationship with them.”

“Is there a reason?”

“No. Just didn’t feel like it. Besides, one would have to be dumb and blind not to realize Aiah Corrington and Tobias Corrington were closely related.”

“You aren’t wrong but I think you are up to something.” Her smile turned into a laugh when he gave her an innocent look.

Aiah stepped out the front door and walked down the steps. She knew to stay out of the way when the doors were opened for her father and godfather.

“Aiah!” Tobias Corrington went quickly to his daughter and hugged her tight. Picking her up off her feet, Tobias spun his only child around. “Oh sweetheart. You look so beautiful.”

Hugging her father in return, she stood on her toes to kiss his cheek. It was easy to see how she was Daddy’s little girl once upon a time. “Thank you Dad. How are you? How’s Mum?”

“Same as always and as busy as always. She misses you Aiah.”

“There’s my girl!” Joseph Bryce had children near Aiah’s age, all boys. He used to say he had to borrow her from Tobias so he could have a little girl. It made her feel better when she wouldn’t see her parents for weeks at a time.

“Uncle Joseph!” She hugged him tight. “How is it that you are looking younger and younger? Most American Presidents age at an exponential rate.”

“Your Aunt Abigail makes me eat these strange healthy things. What the hell is kale good for besides throwing it in the garbage?”

“That I do believe and kale is delicious. I’ll email Aunt Abby some better recipes” She chuckled.

“It’s a conspiracy!” Joseph Bryce responded to his goddaughter with a grin.

“Dad, you really have not met with President Putin before correct?”

“Correct sweetheart. I have spoken via interpreter to him on the phone and I have introduced to him a couple of times but I never spent much time interacting with him.

“I know you have Uncle Joseph.”

He nodded.

“Okay, this is an informal dinner meeting to get to know him and his Chief of Staff, Anton Vaino. I believe this is mostly for your benefit Dad. They have an interpreter as well. His name is Turov Yuriev. He is new so I don’t know if I will need to step in for both sides or not. Most likely not, you don’t get to translate for the leader of a country if you aren’t damn good at it. Try not to smile too much, Russians get distrustful of people that do or they just think you are daft.

You will be given passes, so to speak, because of the different countries. It’s just something to be aware of. I tend to get away with it a bit more but even I tone it down when working with Russians. A few things that will make a better impression. Leave a bite or two of dinner on your plate, it signifies that the meal was plentiful. Shake hands. Russians tend to grip hands tightly. Although President Putin doesn’t overdo it some feel like they are trying to break your hand.  Also, some Russians tend to stare. It’s not rude here. In English we may have a single word as an answer but Russian tends to have several words needed. Listen to both myself and the other interpreter, it makes it easier.”

“I didn’t know that about the smiles.” Bryce frowned. “Or the single word versus multiple.”

“It’s why I am here to help, Uncle Joseph. I’ve worked with the Russians pretty heavily over the last ten years. It’s one of the reasons why Russian politicians are stony faced. Here it makes them look more trustworthy. If something is funny a smile and laugh is still appropriate. Americans tend to smile too much compared to other countries. ”

“What sort of mood is Putin in?”

“I don’t know Mr. President. I only spoke to him briefly, he did permit me to greet you two first.” Calling her godfather Mr. President meant that the clock was ticking.

“Then he knows who we are to you?” The President of the United States asked.

“Of course Sir. I have worked with President Putin numerous times.” And let him fuck me six ways from Sunday. She smiled. “He has always been very good to work with from my viewpoint. But, my viewpoint lacks political nuances that yours would have.” She merely acted as a voice not as the speaker.

“That is because you are a very pretty girl Aiah.” Tobias knew of Putin’s supposed dalliances with younger women.  

“Dad, I love you. I am also 30. I am not a girl. Now, I will refer to you as my father or dad. That is simply keeping everything above board and transparent. I do not know if anyone other than President Putin knows about us being related. Not that it is hard to tell. We look alike. Then there is that whole last name thing. I need both of you to trust me and let me do my job without either of you interfering. I know what I am doing.”

The little bit of social time they had before dinner went well. Aiah read body language astutely. Her father and godfather however, she knew theirs better than almost anyone else’s. Her father didn’t like Anton Vaino any more than she did. Interesting. She would ask him about that tomorrow.

Vladimir Putin greeted and shook the hands of President Bryce and Tobias Corrington.

Turov Yuriev translated for Putin. “Thank you both for coming out all this way to my home. I realize it was something of an inconvenience but it is quieter here.  I have looked forward to seeing you both. I am especially pleased to have an opportunity to meet you face to face Mr. Corrington. Your daughter has done wonderful work here in my country. I am pleased that she is available to us here in the Russian Federation. You and Mrs. Corrington should be proud of her. And you as well President Bryce. You were a great influence in Ms. Corrington’s life she has said.”

Both the President and his Chief of Staff were surprised that Putin spoke of Aiah in such a manner. It raised Tobias’ ire just a touch. While it was a lovely compliment, Tobias was reminded of when young men asked him if they could date Aiah. The answer was almost always no.

Normally at these dinners Aiah wouldn’t eat. Eating would not allow for her to catch everything that was going on around her. She was sought after in a professional sphere because she was always hyperaware of her surroundings. With the informality of this one and two interpreters for four people, it was easy. As always, Putin was courteous to Aiah.

Except, it was she who he focused on. Even when Aiah was turned to make sure she caught everything President Bryce was saying, Putin kept a close eye on her. There was something in the way that he looked at Aiah that bothered her father. It didn’t take him long to figure it out.

It was obvious that Putin was territorial and possibly possessive when it came to Aiah.

Tobias knew his daughter was one of those women that people enjoyed watching and usually it had nothing to do with sex or desire.  Aiah was a beautiful and vibrant woman in any circumstance. When she was not working, the warmth of her eyes and the kindness she possessed was obvious to everyone.  

Tobias remembered when she took care of that tiny orphaned black jaguar. She sent pictures home all the time via texting or email. In order to keep the newborn comfortable and safe, Obsidian resided in Aiah’s bra for the first couple weeks of his life. You would see her holding and petting him close to her heart.

He and her mother had gone to London to visit her for a week about six months before she would she would receive her doctoral degrees. Aiah taught children about animals while she sat in cage with Obsidian and explained why nobody should do what she appeared to have done. Wild animals were not pets and everything she had done with the jaguar was done in a safer setting in the zoo.

A young girl fell in love with what Aiah was doing. Her father tried to translate for her because she didn’t speak English, but he did. The girl’s father had taken a temporary teaching position at one of the British universities. One of the volunteers for the talk noticed and asked the father if they could possibly find an interpreter. Unfortunately, they were unable to find one. After the little show was over, Aiah had walked over to the family to see if she could help. The little girl was bi-lingual and they spoke a common language.

Inviting the family to sit by the cage, she gave them a private show. Obsidian didn’t do ‘tricks’. He understood commands that were for his safety and the safety of the people that worked with him. The closest thing to a trick was the black jaguar would put his front paws on Aiah’s shoulders and she would ‘dance’ with the big cat. It was actually play time for the animal and not a trick as many thought.

Tobias remembered watching his daughter that day and being so proud of her.

His little girl had been catching the attention of men since she hit puberty. There were very few men that Tobias trusted with Aiah because of that early onslaught of attention. When she was 22 she got tired of him being over protective. He and his wife had been in London visiting their daughter.

Under the guise of wanting to show her parents something, Aiah took her parents to the gym. Handing her father a gym bag of workout clothing she told him to go change. She would meet him in the boxing ring. He tried to talk her out of whatever she had planned but she wouldn’t budge. Tobias was very fit for his age from years of military life. About a foot taller and a good 150 lbs heavier, he was worried about hurting his daughter.

Each and every time Aiah took him down. The harder he tried the quicker he landed on his arse. When Tobias finally gave up, she kissed his cheek and smiled. His little girl wasn’t so little any longer.

If she wasn’t doing something formal while interpreting, she permitted emotions to be seen. That was how he realized that his daughter was in a place that she was familiar. Tobias realized that his little girl knew the people around her with the exception of the new interpreter. No one noticed the attention Putin was paying Aiah, except her father. It was completely natural to everyone else he thought. He wondered if Joseph noticed.

Tobias Corrington retired as a Major General in the US Army. He didn’t achieve that rank by being oblivious to what was going on around him. The amount of attention Putin was paying to his daughter was disturbing him greatly. Aiah didn’t seem to notice that the man was constantly watching her. Putin wasn’t doing it with anyone else. It was giving Tobias a headache.  

“Vladimir Vladimirovich, my father is curious to the weather in Moscow during the summer months. Would you like to comment Sir or should I?”

Once again, Tobias bristled. He didn’t exactly understand the patronymic ways of addressing people. He believed his daughter just used a too familiar name for the soft spoken Russian.

Quickly the discussion went back and forth with the two interpreters working around the table. Putin inquired about the summer weather where Tobias and President Bryce were from, Aiah chuckled.

Aiah responded with President Bryce’s answer. “Toby and I are from the same part of Texas. We have known each other since we were children. Summer nights were 24 degrees at 3 in the morning. And it would get upwards of 35 degrees during the day.” She translated the temperatures from Fahrenheit to Celsius without missing a beat.

They were all enjoying an after dinner drink in one of the large drawing rooms. Tobias immediately noticed the way Putin would lay his hand on his daughter’s arm or shoulder when speaking to her. Aiah didn’t touch people in public very often nor did she allow herself to be touched if they were not close to her, outside of a brief handshake.

Was it because of Putin’s power? Was she afraid to say no to him? He wasn’t sure. Aiah his daughter and Aiah the interpreter were two very different people and Tobias couldn’t always tell which was which.  He had been an absent father and knew it. It pained Tobias now because of how much he missed out in his daughter’s life. While she was close with her mother, she was not close with him.

When she got her first two college degrees at sixteen, she was able to emancipate herself. She had her own income at that age and was able to do anything she needed to in order to live on her own. While her godparents checked in on her fairly often, Aiah was completely self-sufficient.

Furthermore, she was happy to be out on her own. She did translations for audio books and for books in general. By the age of 18 she had nearly two million pounds in the bank and owned her own flat outright. In a span of less than two years that 2 million would become 2 billion.

He couldn’t imagine that his little girl wouldn’t say something if it bothered her. That meant Putin may have something on her. What could it be? He had no clue. Tobias Corrington sadly realized that he didn’t know his daughter hardly at all.

The conversation turned to sports easily.

“Aiah?”

“Yes President Bryce?” Turov Yuriev started to translate the conversation to the other two Russian men. No one was exactly sure how much English Putin understood outside of his tutors and Aiah.

“What year was it that you won your medals?”

“2004 Athens. 2008 Beijing Sir.”

“President Putin, did you know that you have a four time gold medal winner here?”

“Aiah?” He was surprised.

She nodded. “Fencing. I took gold in foil team and sabre individual the first time. Then epee individual and sabre team the second time.”

“I did not know this.” He didn’t look pleased.

Laughing softly, she shook her head. She hadn’t thought about it. Aiah and Putin met after she competed. “My apologies. I never thought of it.”

“She was always very gifted in sports President Putin.” Tobias cast a look to his daughter. “Are you still practicing?”

“Yes sir. I go twice a week here and if I am in London usually four times a week. Plus judo. Plus Krav Maga. I have taken up sambo as well.”

“What’s sambo?”

“It is a Russian combat sport.”

“What about Rodeo, Aiah Giselle?”

“No, I ride fairly often but that is it. I don’t believe there is much of a need for roping in Moscow.”

The room paused when someone came in to deliver a message to Putin. He scowled while reading it.

“Kitten, could you help me with a short call?” He handed her the note. “Gentlemen, if you would excuse me. This will be brief.”

Aiah’s brow creased. She realized his mistake even if he did not. “Of course.”

“Dad, Mr. President. I need to help take care of something with President Putin. If you will excuse us for just a moment.”

Tobias bristled. Putin called her koshka. It was one of the very few Russian words that he knew. Aiah had a cat named Koshka when she was a child. She had only been maybe 3 or 4 years old and was learning Russian. She thought it was just a pretty name then. It was not a name you would call an employee. Besides, why would he take Aiah when his fucking Chief of Staff and interpreter was right there?

There were other things that bothered him besides just the slip of the name. It was obvious that she knew the staff. Aiah did not imbibe in alcohol. The staff knew that and did not offer an after dinner drink to her or Putin.

 The call only took five minutes.

Tobias was being shown to the lavatory. He needed to calm down and doing so in the sitting room was not going well. He was hoping some cold water would help. When he passed by a mostly closed door he saw something he wasn’t supposed to see.

Vladimir Putin slid his hands to Aiah’s waist and pulled her close. She smiled beautifully at him. There was a glow about her that would tell anyone looking that Aiah was blissfully happy.

Anyone other than her father apparently.

The Russian President kissed the much younger woman. There was enough familiarity in the kiss that this was something that had been going on for a while. Tobias once again wondered what the Russian President could even have on his Aiah. Christ, he thought, Putin was older than he was. He wasn’t able to see his daughter well and it never crossed his mind that his daughter could be with the man willingly.

The gathering was breaking up when Tobias Corrington returned.

“Ms. Corrington?” Putin spoke softly.

“Yes President Putin?” She turned to him.

“If you could stay another 20 minutes please? The contract for the proposal we spoke of has arrived. I will have a car send you home when we are done.”

“Yes Sir, of course.”

After saying goodbye to everyone, Tobias turned to his daughter. “Aiah, walk out and say goodbye to your old Dad.”

“Of course.” She nodded to the rest and walked out with him. It didn’t seem unusual, it was her father after all.

They walked out into the night but Tobias took his daughter a bit past the guards.

“What the fuck does he have on you Aiah?”

“What? What does who have on me?”

“Putin.”

 “What on earth are you talking about?”

“Aiah, I saw the way he stared at you. I saw the way he touched you after dinner. And I saw the way he fucking kissed you!”

“Dad, he does not have anything on me. I swear to you.”

“So this is your choice?”

“Lower your voice!” She hissed. “Yes, it was my choice AND my doing.” She was the one that kissed him first and agreed to see more of him.

“Do you have any idea what you are doing?!”

“Of course I do. I know exactly what I am doing. You seem to forget that I am 30 and not 3 any longer.”

“How long has it been going on?!”

“That is none of your concern.” The words were mild but the look in her eyes was murderous.

“Jesus Christ, did he molest you?”

“Bloody hell, what are you thinking?! I was not underage when he and I met. I was an adult thank you very much.” She pinched the bridge of her nose.

“Get in the limo, you are going back with us.”

“General Corrington! While I am your daughter, I am not a child any longer.”

Tobias knew she was angry when she called him General. She had often joked that for the first 17 years of her life she thought her father’s name was General and not Tobias.

“Aiah, he is our enemy.”

Sighing heavily, Aiah pinched the bridge of her nose again. “Oh for the love of God! Dad, I’m not an American. I never have been an American and I will never be an American. I don’t even like being in the United States. Furthermore I’m barely English except for my bloody accent and my passport. I didn’t grow up in any specific country. You and Mum enjoyed your careers but that meant I was uprooted constantly going to this country and that country for some unspecified amount of time.  

The only thing I even have in the UK is an address. I have no loyalties to any specific country because that is not how I lived. Even now I have homes all over the world because it is easier than living out of a suitcase. Dad, I am grateful for the childhood I had. It was never boring. I had the chance to learn more in a month than some people learn in years or even their entire lives. I am grateful that my childhood was able to give me a wonderful career, but I don’t share your thoughts on who is friend or foe.”

“So this is my fault that you have some goddamn ‘Daddy Issues’?! He is older than I am Aiah!”

Inhaling deep, she stood tall and proud. The look on her face hid nothing. She was livid and it showed. Aiah slowly counted backwards from 10, then she tried 20. She turned her back to him right then. She was having to keep control of her temper and it was difficult. Spinning back around, she faced Tobias with a look of disgust.

Speaking through gritted teeth, she was furious. “I do not have so-called daddy issues. I am appalled that you would say something like that to me.” She shook her head. “Just because I do not live the life you and Mum do, doesn’t mean that my life is wrong. Yes, Vladimir is older than you by exactly 7 days. Dad, I care about him. I have a wonderful life. I am happy, healthy, and I have a chance to work all over the world. My life is damn near perfect and yes Vladimir is a part of my life.”

“Vladimir? Fucking Vladimir?” Tobias ran his hands back through his hair. “Do you have a child by him?”

“What?” She was taken by surprise.

“The news reports he has a child or two out of wedlock. Is that why you did the children’s shows here? And the books? Is that why you have a fan club?”

Taking a deep breath, she let it out slowly. Taking several steps back, Aiah’s hands were curled into fists. She would not strike her father but she also made sure she was not close enough that she could raise a hand to him if it came to that.   

“First off? What in the bluest of blue hells are you thinking? I have never been pregnant. Ever. I would never hide a child from you. Besides, I take care of myself. I am not irresponsible now and I wasn’t at 16 when I moved out on my own! You think so poorly of me? You do not know me. You have no idea who I even am.”

When her father started to speak, Aiah held her hand up to indicate she wasn’t done.

“I did the shows and the books so children all over the world could have an opportunity to learn about other people just like them in different places. Representation is important and letting children know that they are not alone is extremely important. Those shows? They have been redone in 20 different languages, by me! This includes English!! I do not make money off of it. It goes to non-profit organizations like the Make-A-Wish Foundation all over the world. I have a fan club because I am trying to help people, especially young people.”

All of a sudden, there was the sound of a dog barking. Yume was one Putin’s dogs. The Akita was extremely protective of Aiah. Apparently Yume heard the voice of the upset Aiah and slipped her collar.  

Aiah told the dog to sit and bent down to calm the animal.

“Aiah.” From ten feet away, Putin spoke.

Hearing his voice and her name, automatically she smiled and turned towards him. The amount of relief that touched her eyes that he was there was noticed by Tobias. The pair looked at each other with affection. Slowly, Vladimir stepped forward.

He put the collar and the leash on the dog first before handing the leash to Aiah. Seconds later, the dog’s trainer apologized profusely before taking Yume back with him.

The impromptu speech was in English. Vladimir Putin struggled with the words. It was not from lack of ability but from sheer emotion. “Mr. Corrington, I understand this you feel. I admit that I would feel the same if it was one of my daughters in a similar situation. Mr. Corrington, I am terribly sorry for any pain caused by our relationship.

This was just one of many reasons we have remained very private. Just because we both have chosen to keep this silent, it does not mean that I do not care deeply for Aiah. I do care about her, very much so. I believe she feels the same for me. Mr. Corrington, your daughter is strong woman. She is the one that set the parameters of our relationship. I have always taken my cues from her.” He offered his hand to her.

“She smiled softly and placed her hand in his. It’s true Dad. My comfort was always a priority.”

“Aiah even refused to accept any gifts from me at all. She did so in order to not have any perceived….” His brow creased. He didn’t know the word off the top of his head.

He spoke softly, asking Aiah how to say непригодность in English.

“Impropriety.”

“Thank you Aiah. So there is no perceived impropriety between us. Mr. Corrington, I know you consider Russia an enemy and likely have since you were a young man. Americans were taught to hate the USSR just as we were taught to hate Americans. It is also because you do not understand Russian ways. Our countries are very different. They always have been.”

“Aiah has schooled me over the years on the reality in different countries versus my opinion.” Tobias’ reply was terse. 

“Speak German please.” Aiah asked.

She looked to her father and he repeated himself in German. She knew it was a common language for all three of them.

Putin switched to German as well. “Mr. Corrington, I ask that you listen to your daughter. She is an intelligent woman. I have made sure she is well protected while here and elsewhere if need be. She is safe. Aiah has many people around the world that care for her. She is well loved by many. If I was able to show you how she has been welcomed in so many places, I would.”

Looking to her lover, Aiah smiled. “Dad, I am welcomed most everywhere warmly and kindly.”

“Do you not know how this looks Aiah?” He pleaded with her in English. “My daughter with the Russian President. People will believe that I colluded with Russia because you are screwing Putin. Now that Joseph has been here? It will be a scandal.” 

“Screwing? Really Dad? German, please.”

Sighing softly. She shook her head.

“I have done nothing improper. While I do understand your fears, this is why we have kept things private and just between us. Have you heard any murmurings at all about my working or living here for over half the year? Have you heard anything about me that you would be embarrassed by?”

“No, I haven’t. The only time I have heard anything less than positive about you was when you were in the Seychelles a few years ago. You were 26 and spotted in a bikini.  How dare I let my daughter out wearing something like that?” Tobias sighed. “It didn’t matter that your mother was with you or you were an adult.”

“I take it that it was the ultra-conservatives that said that?”

Aiah was about as far from being conservative as possible. Which was another reason why Tobias couldn’t understand the affair with Putin. They were complete opposites in every way he could imagine. What Tobias didn’t know was that Vladimir Putin was utterly different behind closed doors. He would have found that out earlier if he had not permitted his temper to get the better of him.

“Yes. I can assume you are staying here tonight?”

“I don’t know. I do have a new contract to look over, that is the truth. Will you please keep this between us and Uncle Joseph?”

Tobias felt defeated. His own daughter......he sighed and nodded. “Of course.”

“Keep what between us Aiah?”

“Dad will tell you on the ride back Sir.” She kissed President Joseph Bryce’s cheek.

Hugging her father. “I love you Dad. I do.”

“I love you too sweetheart.”

While Putin said his goodbyes to the two men, Aiah stepped back. She felt utterly exhausted.

Walking back up with her, he spoke softly. “Go upstairs? I’ll say goodbye to the others. I can say you left with your father if you would like.”

“Yes please. That sounds like an excellent idea.”

“Aiah.” He touched her wrist. “I meant every word I said to your father.”

“Thank you.” She kissed his lips softly. “I did as well.”

Aiah was removing her jewelry when he walked it. Long hair spilled down to mid back, she had already taken it down.

“Are you ready to talk business?”

“I have other things I would rather be doing but we can talk about business.”

“What would you rather be doing?”

“Virtually anything in which your cock is buried deep inside of me.” Tugging gently on his tie, she kissed him.

“Is that so my little strumpet?”

“Yes. Very much so.”

“Whatever would you do without me to service your needs Kitten?”

“Same thing I do now when we go a while without seeing each other. My electric bill goes through the roof.” Aiah laughed when she saw the look on his face. Vladimir had seen her Hitachi and knew what she meant. She stroked her fingers very lightly across the front of his trousers before turning around. “Could you unzip me please?”

Slowly he drew the zipper downward. His lips pressed between her shoulder blades and he inhaled her scent. The fragrance of her skin always reminded him of spices with jasmine. Sliding the dress down her body he paused to remove the brassiere she wore. 

Aiah was left nearly bare standing before him. A firm hand pulled her back to him. Putin enjoyed having her close like this. Her nearly naked body was as close to perfection as he had ever seen on a woman. He would not complain about their sex life or her beauty. On that respect, he knew he was a lucky man. He was by far a luckier man because of everything else about his lover.

Aiah meant the world to him. Vladimir often thought she was the only person he could share his inner most thoughts with and not be judged. He was a man that was often lonely in a crowded room. Part of it was simply his own personality. He was not a man that wanted to be surrounded by others all the time but somehow he ended up doing just that. The KGB also taught him that trust should rarely be given. It did keep him safe over the years but there were plenty of times that the burden of being alone was soul crushing. 

She alleviated that sort of pain. Even when she was thousands of kilometers away, just hearing her voice was soothing. Aiah always sounded happy to hear from him. When Grigori Tikhonovich passed away was the first time when he heard such heartbreaking sadness in her voice. She was in a taxi on her way to Heathrow so she could get to Moscow as quickly as possible. They stayed on the phone together until she was ready to go through customs. Aiah had thanked him before hanging up. He asked what she was thanking him for. When she replied with making her feel better, Vladimir knew. He knew that she needed him as much as he needed her.

He was wealthy. He was powerful. People had no idea to what degree. Vladimir Putin was a man that was used to getting what he wanted, when he wanted it. Aiah was that exception. She would turn the tables on him without batting a lash. It was one of the things he enjoyed so much about her. She didn’t care that he was wealthy, she was too. She craved neither power nor an audience.  

His hand cupped her breast, enjoying the firm weight. The pad of his thumb rubbed across the hardened tip of her nipple.  Her rounded arse was firm when she arched back and rubbed against the front of his trousers.

She wore nothing but a tiny scrap of navy silk that pretended to be a pair of panties. The hand that rested on her abdomen slid down and inside her panties. The smooth skin was like satin beneath his fingertips

“I thought you weren’t wearing any panties. You’re wet Kitten.”

“No, I just said it was bold of you to assume I wore them. Wet? I wonder why?”

He pulled her around to face him and his hand wrapped around her throat. Leaning in as if he was going to kiss her, he posed a question “Tell me why.”

She closed the slight gap between them and kissed his lips with a sigh of pleasure. “Why am I wet? When you touch me, even if it is something as simple as an accidently brush of the hand when walking by, all I can think about is your big thick cock sliding inside me. I love the way you feel in me. On me. Taking. Giving.” She kissed his lips again.  “So why am I wet? Because of you.”

“My beauty, you would be the bane of every woman’s existence and the balm for every man’s soul.”

She chuckled softly and shook her head. “No, I wouldn’t. Only for you Vladimir. Only for you.”

Aiah helped him undress. Her hands slid across his body while soft lips pressed to his. Breathy little moans tempted him.  Looking into her eyes, his closed his own for a moment. From the day they met, she was always a challenge. Aiah disliked complacency, especially in the bedroom. Who would not love a girl like that? Especially a girl with a beautiful face, a beautiful body, and a mind like none he had seen before.

“I want you Vladimir.” Her voice was low.

Pressing tighter against him, that tiny scrap of silk rubbed against his cock. He could feel how aroused she was.  His Aiah was soaking wet.

“How do you want me?”

“Every way imaginable. But I know what I want to start with.”

“What are you up to?”

“Something I think you would like.”

“I better.” He tried to sound stern but his eyes gave him away.

“Would you sit on the edge of the bed please?”

He did. Aiah propped pillows up behind him and made sure he was truly comfortable.

With a bit of oil on her hands she stroked over every inch of his body. Except, she outright refused to touch his cock.  Soft lips pressed to his skin. Kisses followed with gentle bites tasted his flesh. Without warning, she pulled away. She heard him grunt quietly with a sound of frustration. Sliding between his legs, she moved so that she could kiss behind his balls.

She caressed his perineum with gentle kisses. Because of the cultural difference, Aiah didn’t touch his anus. That would quickly end any enjoyment that they were currently having and that was the last thing she wanted. Her fingers stroked the hard shaft of his cock while her lips teased over the sensitive flesh with soft sucking and kisses.

Warm breath whispered along his skin as Aiah moaned herself. It was another thing he adored about his Kitten. She was not silent, ever. The sweet sounds let him know how much she enjoyed touching him.

Kneeling between his legs on the floor, Aiah was more than happy to tease him some.

Vladimir closed his eyes. There was something deep inside of him. This something was from so long ago that it almost seemed like a forgotten nightmare. He knew it wasn’t. It was his old friend, Fear. Fear came out to play in the long lost hours of the night. It came back to him when he was dubious about a decision he made.

It whispered the words that hurt him the most and told him he was a fool. Fear told him that he would die alone and lonely. It told him everything horrible that ever happened to him that it was all his very own fault. The inner turmoil felt crippling. Through the screaming rage that he felt so deep inside another voice challenged the Fear.

“My sweet Vladimir. Some people search for their whole lives to find just a small piece of what I have found in you.”

When he opened his eyes all he could see was her lovingly sweet smile. In a flash his hands wrapped around her biceps and he pulled her close. His arms were around her body and he yanked her up and on to the bed.

Pulling her close to his chest, he moved them both to their sides. His blue eyes searched her face in wonderment. Full lips were parted with a smile. That same smile shone in her pale green eyes. 

Kissing her with tender abandon, Vladimir opened up part of himself to his lover. Gently, he rolled Aiah to her back. His touch was so sure and confident that she whimpered with the sheer joy of it. Thick cockhead opened her just enough before he slid all the way in.

Aiah shivered from head to toe. Once again, she kissed him.  “Vladimir.”

He kissed her and simply smiled.

Thrusting upwards, she ground against him with undulating hips. The way she moved under his body made him thrust deeper, harder and he pinned her to the bed.

“Minx.” Vladimir whispered while looking into her eyes.

“Your minx.”

The roughness of just moments ago changed. Now they made love slowly and gently.  So often because of lack of time, they rushed. Now there was nothing to rush them.  Vladimir and Aiah savored every little touch that drew across each other’s skin. In the early morning hours with their passions sated for now, the spoke tender and loving words to each other.

Putin stroked her hair gently as he held her close to him. “How are you feeling?”

“Adored. Sated. Happy.”

His eyes closed and he smiled with her words.

“What of you?”

“At peace. I have what I want and what I need.” He paused and chuckled a bit. “Good thing a reporter isn’t here with us.”

“Oh?”

“That quote gets out? It would ruin my reputation as an evil, tyrannical and despotic dictator.”

“I’ll keep your secret.”

“You always have Kitten.”

“You know if you hand me a contract that lasts more than a week? I may need medical attention.”

He laughed. Somewhere inside of him it registered how happy the laugh sounded.

Turning, she kissed his lips sweetly. “I’ll be back shortly. I am a mess and need a shower. May I steal one of your undershirts to wear while we discuss business?”

He kissed her forehead. “Of course.” Life with her was never dull, he smiled.

Last summer she had gone out on the yacht with him. Part of it was interpreting and part of it was for them to have some time together.  While she was working, she wore lovely summer dresses that billowed around her in the breeze. It was fitting as all of the men were dressed casually. Five men besides Putin were scheduled for that weekend.

Putin smiled at the memory. She wore her hair down when she wasn’t working. Between the brightly colored dresses against her warmly tanned skin and those wild curls that blew gently in the breeze she was a picture of beauty. Mid-afternoon Aiah would go for a swim. The water was cold but she didn’t care. She was a powerful swimmer and loved the water.

That part of the deck was secure for their use only. With others around, he couldn’t join her. It didn’t matter. Aiah reminded Putin of an otter or a seal frolicking happily. He would sit and watch her with a smile.

She was always quite proper around the other men. She did her job and nothing more. She didn’t socialize with any of them out in the open, including Putin. The men were there to talk business and when it was needed, she sat in to translate for one of the men. The man’s Russian was fine for simple socializing but some terms he wasn’t proficient in, especially biological and tech terminology.

The first man knew that Aiah was involved with Putin and had known for a while. He knew better than to try and approach the young woman. He enjoyed speaking with her and could see why Putin coveted Aiah Corrington.

The second man was a happy newlywed and wouldn’t have ever thought of approaching Aiah.

Two of the other men wished to see more of Aiah. The two were not rude. They each asked privately if she would permit them to escort her around Sochi or Moscow. She had politely turned each of them down and that was the end of it. They bore no grudge to the pretty Aiah. They knew if she was bothered and Vladimir Vladimirovich found out? There would be hell to pay. They knew she was a friend of his and a well-respected interpreter.

Even Putin understood that they wanted a little fun on the side and she was a pretty girl. Aiah was not bothered that they asked, if anything she was amused.  To be safe, Putin told all five of the men that she was off limits and should be treated like the professional she was.

The fifth laid his hands on her.

Vasili or one of his subordinates were rarely far from Aiah unless she was directly with Vladimir. The guards normally kept about 10-15 feet between themselves and Aiah in circumstances such as the ones needed on the yacht. The problem came about because instead of speaking in Russian, the man spoke in his native tongue. Vasili didn’t understand the conversation.

Like the others, the man wished to see more of her. A lot more. At least the others made it look as if they wished to take her on a date. This one wanted to go to his room right then and there. Politely, she turned him down and turned to walk away.

The man grabbed for her shoulder and missed. Instead, he got the back of her dress and tried to pull her back to him. In doing so, he tore the thin straps of the dress.  In a fit of anger from being turned down by Aiah, he shoved her as hard as he could.

Normally a hard shove could be counteracted but the dress had fallen to her feet. It was just enough to trip her up some. The move set her careening into the wall and the man tried to pin her in. Her tooth cut into the soft swell of her lower lip and there was a trail of blood because of it. It was his first mistake.

Immediately, Vasili came running over and hit the alert button to let the others know that there was a problem. By the time he got to the man, Aiah had used an arm lock she had learned from years of practicing Krav Maga and put the man on the ground.

He was on his back with her foot on his throat, pressing down. The way she twisted his arm and wrist, she could easily break bones if he tried anything.

Immediately the man began to scream that the crazy bitch tried to come on to him and when he said no, she got mad. Vladimir found out immediately what was going on. He was furious. He realized that wasn’t true. He was murderous. He walked back to where the man and Aiah were. Vasili already had the man trussed up and was awaiting orders.

All Vladimir saw at first was Aiah’s bleeding lip and how blood had dripped down to her bare stomach. The only thing she wore were a tiny pair of panties. There was a part of him that was amused. She didn’t care that she was mostly naked.

Seeing Aiah, he was reminded of the Firebird from the old tales.  The man didn’t live long after that. There had been a bite of fear in his gut upon telling her the truth of what happened to the man when she asked. He would never forget what she said.

“He was willing to try and harm me while he knew that I was under your protection. He lied when I refused him. What has he done to other women? This isn’t a case of what might he have done. This speaks loudly at what he has done, Vova.”

It was two days later that Vladimir found out what the bastard had done to other women. He was even suspected of killing a woman when she would not service him. Vladimir Putin felt no remorse for how the man died.

When Aiah walked back in the room, she wore his shirt and a pair of tiny white cotton panties. There was a bit of a smirk on his lips. With her long hair down and her face scrubbed of any makeup, he was reminded of the first night that they spent together so many years ago. She had been so young then.

The fabric pulled tight across her rounded full breasts. He truly enjoyed watching her move when she wore next to nothing. Sleek and svelte, there was just a hint of a bounce as she walked.

He handed her a file folder. “The first set of papers is the proposal the second is the contract.”

Laying down on her stomach, she was sprawled on his bed with her feet up in the air and crossed at the ankle. Shaking his head, this was absolutely how she was privately. It made him smile. She was the picture of professionalism unless they were alone.

“Use the folder to take your notes.” He handed her a pen.

Taking the pen, she wrote down notes. “Vladimir? What does this mean, I am unfamiliar with the coding.”

“That is your classification. It means you work directly for me and answer to only me.”

“Isn’t that how this always works?” She smiled a bit cheekily.

Chuckling, he put his feet on the curve of her arse and relaxed while she went through everything. The room was silent. While Aiah read through everything, he relaxed.

It took her at least 45 minutes to go through all the paperwork. “Eighteen months?” She was incredulous. “Why so long?”

“Aiah, you are the best there is. You can flow seamlessly through ten languages and know six or seven others.”

“Ten more actually. I’m not fluent in those. I won’t work with those languages except for minor projects like translating a children’s book or working as a secondary interpreter. Good god! Vladimir, I cannot accept this sort of payment either!! 44 million rubles? That is about a half a million pounds. Vladimir, 22-25 million rubles is about the going rate.”

“How much cotton make up what you are wearing?”

“My knickers? A handful of centimeters. Why?”

“You paid over 300 pounds for that. How do I know? I ruined at least four pairs of yours with my bare hands. I have to pay you that much so you can keep yourself covered. If that small bit of cotton cost you over 300 pounds imagine if you were wearing something that covers more, 1000 pounds easily.”

Aiah laughed. “Would you like me to wear knickers like old women?”

“If you dare I will burn all of your babushka undergarments!”

“See. I don’t need the extra 70%”

“I am not used to being in a bedroom with you while you have this much clothing on.”

 “I’m more than happy to go completely bare for you, Vladimir Vladimirovich.”

 “I have a question. How much money did you spend on your home here?”

“Roughly 460 million rubles.”

“Why?”

“I was spending too much money on hotels.”

“Because you spend six to seven months here, yes?”

“Partially, I didn’t want to intrude on your life was the other reason.”

“Aiah…..” He frowned.

“No frowning. It isn’t something negative Vladimir. You are a busy man. My god, you run a country and are THE most powerful man in the world. You have a lot to do. I will not intrude on that. Ever.”

He realized from her it was a sign of respect. “Thank you Kitten. Why are you here so much?”

“I could say work and it would be accurate but we both know that you are the real reason.”

“If you can spend that much money just because of me, I can offer you a position that is lucrative for us both.” He sighed and laid back on the bed.

“What’s wrong?”

Did he want to tell her the truth or not? Sitting back up, he rubbed his eyes before looking at her. “Aiah, I want you here. I want you here with me.”

“Vladimir, this is going to need to be a very long conversation. I do…“ Immediately, both of their mobile phones started to going off. Immediately, so did Aiah’s work phone and his personal one. There was a knock on the door and the landline began ringing.

Getting up, she walked into the master suite’s bathroom to give each other privacy.

“Dad?” She answered her phone.

“Aiah, something happened. There has been a series of fires and explosions in Texas. We are heading back now. Please stay where you are until we know what is going on.”

“What do we know?”

“There were a string of explosions at several oil refineries. We don’t have enough information yet to know if it was terrorism, an accident, or anything else.”

“Jesus. Where?”

“Houston Ship Channel and all the way down to La Porte.”

“Oh god.”

“Aiah, I am serious. Stay with Putin, just so I don’t have to worry about you.”

“Yes Sir.” Part of her was amused by the request. “Where is Mum?”

“She and Abby are in DC. They are safe and sound.”

“Thank god.”

“Can you translate something? I need to let President Putin know as well.”

“Of course. Would you rather use German?”

“No sweetheart. I don’t want there to be any chance of a misunderstanding.”

Walking back into the bedroom Aiah realized that he was being briefed on what was happening in the US. Sitting down next to him. She whispered in his ear that her father wished to speak with him.  Putin nodded and told whomever was on the phone that he would call them back shortly.

Aiah began to interpret. “President Putin, President Bryce and I have had to leave, I apologize we did not let you know prior. Everything was done in a rush. I am sure you have heard what happened in the United States 30 minutes ago. We know very little at the moment. They are just trying to keep the fires from spreading at this point. One explosion may have set off a chain of events but right now we aren’t for certain.”

Tobias Corrington sounded like he took a drink.

“I also wanted to apologize to you and to my daughter. Aiah, you were right. I overstepped and I am very sorry. President Putin, I apologize. I am truly sorry for the way I behaved. I cannot say that I am ready to know about you both but I should not have said the things I did. Not to you President Putin and certainly not to my own daughter. Please understand that I have never seen my daughter look at someone like she did with you. Truthfully, it frightened me. The realization that my only child grew up and I didn’t realize it, was something akin to a kick in the chest. I hope you do not judge President Bryce by my lack of manners.”

Pausing while Putin spoke, she started once again.

“Mr. Corrington. Thank you for your apology. Aiah is very precious to me. As a father myself, I understand. Do not worry about that, please.” Her eyebrow shot up when she repeated that she was precious to him. “If you or someone could please keep me informed what is happening, it would be appreciated.”

“I will. If I cannot contact you, I will contact my daughter. Thank you President Putin and thank you Aiah.”

“Dad?”

“Yes sweetheart?”

“I love you. Please, please, please be careful. If this is a terror plot, it would be far too easy to take out large portions of refineries within minutes across the country yes?”

“Yes.”

“If my recollection of you teaching me tactical warfare on that old map is anywhere near correct, the most logical place would to have something hit the Houston Ship Channel near the bridge and take out more.”

“Shit. Thank you Aiah. I love you.”

The call ended.

“Is something wrong Aiah?”

“Uhm, maybe. My father requested that I stay with you over concern for my safety.”

Vladimir Putin held his hand over his face and laughed. “Tactical warfare?”

“Dad and I used to play a game that was insanely complicated. That was the whole idea you beat the other player through tactical warfare. The map took up 4 long tables. My Mum would walk by it in Dad’s work room and just shake her head.”

Grabbing the folder that the contract was in, Aiah sketched out what that part of Texas was like and explained the conversation she had with her father in a bit more detail.

“Do you know the area well?”

“I could get around without GPS but I couldn’t tell you the street names.”

 It was nearly three in the morning when they saw each other again. Aiah was half asleep in his bed when he returned. Climbing in next to her, Putin realized she was more awake than he thought when Aiah smiled softly.

“Anything new?” She stretched.

“No. They are still working to keep things under control. Would you like to continue our talk?”

“Yes. Start simple perhaps. What do you want to know about me that I wouldn’t answer you before?”

“Why do you not call me Volodya on the regular?”

“I am terrified of saying it at the wrong moment and revealing something I should not.”

“Oh you do not wish to make my mistakes? On a more serious note, I enjoy hearing it from you.”

“I’ll remember that.”

“How many men have been in your life Aiah?”

“I assume you mean sexually. Including you, four. Two of which were prior to meeting you.”

He looked surprised by the revelation.

“I told you in the very beginning that I wasn’t a slut.” Aiah’s smile was playful.

“Why haven’t you settled down, truthfully?”

“You do ask the hardest questions. First, I am quite particular. Vladimir you know better than anyone that I enjoy sex. I probably enjoy it too much for my own good.” She shrugged. “You may ask questions but remember you won’t unlearn the information.”

“I realize this. So why?”

“You.”

“Me?”

“I did not want to lose you from my life and I know that settling down would have. It’s one thing for a married man to have an affair with an unmarried woman but a married woman with a married man? You would not approve.”

“You do know me well Kitten.” He stroked her cheek softly. “Are you involved with anyone else currently?”

“No. I haven’t been with anyone else for six years.”

“I don’t understand why do you not wish to stay for 18 months?”

Exhaling slowly, Aiah sat up. “This is the part I was dreading.  Vladimir, I will never play second to another woman. What we have now, it doesn’t matter. We see each other when we can and that is all.  Yes, we do care about each other but it is not the same as living here full time. I don’t think I could do it.”

“You believe there is another woman?”

“Currently? I don’t know if there is or not. It was never something I concerned myself with. I am merely telling you how I feel. But, I was your other woman after all.”

“I have had other women in my bed, yes. But they weren’t like you.”

“I don’t understand.”

He realized what she was thinking. “You are thinking of the rumors. Yes, I was with Alina Kabaeva. She and I? We have not seen each other in six or seven years outside of professionally and in a room full of people.”  

“What happened?”

“You happened.”

“Why?”

“Aiah, I am a cynical man.” He caressed her cheek again. “You know that as well as anyone. The last twenty years have been difficult in ways I didn’t realize. I was nothing to look at my entire life. I could get women and usually that was because of my work. For the last 15 years women have clamored to be in my bed. A lot of them made it, including you. I was a philanderer. Lyudmila and I? We rarely saw each other due to my work and due to my affairs. After the girls were born, I no longer felt desire for my wife. I don’t think she felt any for me either.”

He looked at Aiah. “The first time I saw you in person….”

“In person?”

“Yes. I had seen pictures of you and your dossier. It’s standard procedure for someone in order to be admitted in to see me. So when I walked into that little social gathering unannounced, I was struck by your beauty. There was something about you that spoke to me. I admit that it was all superficial in that first meeting. You were a beautiful woman and I wanted you. No, it was more than just want. I wished to covet you. I wanted to possess you. When you saw me, you smiled. It was the most beautiful smile I had ever seen. You knew the proper etiquette. You did not approach me uninvited. Believe me, I wanted to invite you.”

He chuckled, remembering.

“Aiah, I was impressed. I was even more impressed when I realized you were the interpreter. You looked directly at me without any fear in your beautiful eyes. Not many people are able to do that outside of Russia. Not many people are able to do that inside of Russia. When you were in the office with the Americans, I had left. I still saw everything.”

“You were watching? Why?”

“I did not like the way you were being treated. That smile you gave me earlier? You smiled the most genuine smile I was ever given from a woman that didn’t know me on a deeply personal level.” Putin smiled and shook his head. “I wanted you to be Russian and an unmarried one at that. Which was ridiculous, I knew you were English by the dossier.”  

“Were you disappointed that I was not Russian or happy that I was unmarried?”

“Happy. I was very happy. I knew when I asked to kiss you that you were a woman unlike any I had ever encountered before. I normally don’t have to ask. I don’t mean that I would just take. You move your head to the position and the woman would lean in….”

She kissed him tenderly then. Vladimir returned the kiss and felt her smile against his lips. “Like that Volodya?” Aiah kissed him again.

He smiled softly at her. “Just like that Kitten. With you, I wanted your permission. I craved the knowledge that you were not just going along with what I wanted. I wanted desperately for you to feel the same that I was feeling for you. In the most Aiah fashion, you turned the tables on me.”

“Why did you think I was a woman like none other? I am about as normal as I could be given my upbringing.”

“Again, you weren’t afraid.”

“What was I supposed to be afraid of?”

“Kitten, you were 20 years old and in Russia. Not only were you in Russia, you were standing in the Kremlin. You were the daughter of an American General and you had ties to some of the top political forces in the world. A normal woman would have been terrified.”

“I looked at it differently. I was 20 years old and spoke many languages fluently. Outside of coded verbiage, you would have had a hard time finding one of the more common languages that I couldn’t speak or understand. I was the daughter of a Major General who would have done virtually anything to protect his daughter, as seen by tonight’s craziness. I also had ties to many high ranking government officials all over the world.”

“This proves that my Kitten is not at all normal.” He smiled

Aiah laughed and shook her head. “You are probably correct Vladimir.”

“That first time you kissed me Aiah, I knew that you were the most intriguing woman I had ever seen, let alone met. I wanted to know more about you. I actually even looked you up on the internet!”

Aiah laughed merrily. It was well known that he didn’t trust the internet or even technology all that much.

“We didn’t see as much of each other those first two years. I got involved with Alina at that time. She knew about you, not your name or any information, just that I had another woman.”

“You truly do go to great lengths to keep your private life private.”

“I have to.” He stroked his fingers through her hair.

“I know.”

“She started to push for things between her and myself, such as marriage. I wasn’t ready to give you up. So it ended with her. She has a child that is quite possibly mine. I never bothered to check paternity but I do believe that he is mine.”

“Do you see the child?”

“No.” He shook his head. “It’s a long story and not one for tonight. I do pay as a father should, to make sure everything is taken care of.”

“Vladimir, all I want is for you to be happy.”

“I know. Kitten, this may not make sense and if it doesn’t I will try to explain better. You know when we first met that I thought you were in your early thirties?”

“Yes, you have told me.”

“It’s not the physical you. You don’t look a certain age. Yet, at 20 you had not been a girl for a while. You were a woman. You were more elegant and knowledgeable than women twice your physical age. I think it was that show you watched 4 or 5 years ago said it best.”

“Which one?”

“The one in Scotland.”

“Oh. Uhm. Outlander? I didn’t think you watched it.”

“I only watched to see what you enjoyed about it. I believe it was called kilts?”

Laughing, she turned bright red.

“Are you blushing Kitten?”

“Maybe.”

It was Putin that laughed then.

“Alina was a girl. She will always be a girl. You will always be a woman.”

“Vladimir, is this the reason for your stress?”

Staring into her eyes, he nodded. “Come here and lay with me. But yes. It was.”

Curling up close to him, Aiah placed her hand on his chest. “Why?”

“We have always enjoyed our time together Kitten. While we have disagreed, we never have fought.”

“Except on the mats.” Aiah smiled. He was 8th dan and she was 7th dan.  At the levels they each were at, it was mostly honorary rather than based on skill. Their strengths were completely opposite of each other. It made for a fun time on the judo mats.

“Yes, except on the mats.” He laid his hand over her’s. “You have always kept part of yourself at a distance from me and I respected that. I followed your lead. Aiah, I have found myself wanting more with you over the last several years. I didn’t understand why I wanted you to be a more regular part of my life. It took a while before I realized something.”

“What was that?”

His hand clasped her own. “Please allow me to finish before you speak.” He kissed her softly when she nodded. “You and I enjoy similar ventures. We enjoy the same sports. We enjoy doing the same things.  You have an ability to understand my moods even better than I do. I can take you anywhere in the world with me. I have taken you all over the world with me. You don’t need someone to watch over you. If I cannot be with you, you find something that you enjoy to do rather than pouting. I am sure you have no idea but I love and hate your adventures while you are out alone.”

Aiah looked absolutely baffled.

“I love to hear the happiness in your voice while you tell me how you discovered something new or something that made you smile. I loathe that I do not get to go on these adventures with you. You have an independent spirit that is all your own. The only person outside of my personal staff that has found out about us was your father. You have told no one else about our private lives.”

“My father didn’t find out from me.”

“Do you know who told him?”

“You did.” Aiah chuckled softly.

“How did I tell him?”

“Well, he noticed that you were paying closer attention to me than anyone else. Plus, when you asked me to take the call with you? You called me Kitten. He also saw you kiss me.” She was trying so hard not to laugh.

“Fuck.”

She lost the battle and ended up laughing.

“I didn’t think he spoke Russian!”

“Other than a few words, he doesn’t. When I was a child I had a Kitten I called Koshka.”

“You are telling me you had a kitten named Kitten?”

“Yes.”

“How old were you?”  

“Four I believe. So he knows only one animal in Russian and well…..”

“You have been speaking Russian for that long?”

It was one of the first languages I learned. Outside of English, Russian and German were what I spoke first.”

“How?”

“We were in Germany and I had a tutor. He bragged to his colleague about how this tiny little girl was already speaking German better than English. The colleague was Russian so he brought the Russian over to prove himself. The Russian made a bet with the German that he could have me speaking and reading Russian better than English or German.  He was correct.”

“How?”

“I think it was easier because I didn’t confuse Russian with English like I tended to do with German. The Cyrillic alphabet actually made me concentrate only in Russian whereas German and English were easier for me to confuse. Like how D-I-E is both used in English and German but the meanings are completely different.”

His fingertips lifted her chin ever so slightly. “I trust you Aiah. That is part of what I am trying to say. I do not censor myself in front of you, unless I absolutely must. Not that anyone has equated it out to you other than me, I am often told what a monster I am to deal with. It is at its absolute worst when we haven’t seen each other in a while. When I am unable to contact you or be with you I end up distracting myself wondering where in the world you are, if you are ok, and if you are happy.

Aiah, I want you here with me. I want you to be my personal interpreter so we can spend more time together. You are truly the very best at what you do and I want nothing but the best. More importantly, I need to have someone I can trust.”

“At what I do? Are you talking about translating and interpretations or are you talking about the way I fuck you senseless?” She smiled cheekily.

He scowled at her.

“Enough. I was teasing you.” She kissed him softly. “Vladimir we will talk more tomorrow. I need to write some things out to see what I feel I need. Plus, I truly need to go shopping to stock my kitchen and a change into different clothing.”

“Stock your kitchen? I see.”

“What is it that you see?”

“You do not wish to stay with me.”

“Volodya, if I am seen around you too much, people will get suspicious. If you want me, I am just twenty minutes away.”

She straddled his lap and looked him in the eye. Putin put his arms around her waist so that his hands rested at the small of her back.

“If? IF? What is this if?! I want you Aiah! I don’t give a good goddamn if people know about us. I am tired of having to hide you.”

She smiled sadly. “I know you say that now Vladimir and perhaps if I was Russian you would be praised for having a younger woman on your arm. You know as well as I do that you would lose support because I am by place of birth, British.”

“I may just keep you chained to my bed so when I want you, I can have you.”

“Then you will be halfway across the world when an urge hits and I am not there.”

“I didn’t say this was the only bed you would be chained to.”

“I would like it too much.” She chuckled

“You would, wouldn’t you?”

“Yes. I would.”

“I would be able to do with you whatever I desired.”

“You cannot do that already?”

“No Aiah. I cannot. I want to be able to take you with me and not hide that you are mine. I wish to have you at my side as you should be.”

“Your PR team would have an apoplexy. You would no longer be seen as the macho stud.” Aiah grinned and kissed him. “Although I do know the truth, you are able to wear me out.”

“No longer seen as a macho stud?” He laughed and pulled her closer. “Sweet Aiah, a woman 35 years younger than I shares my bed. Is that not the definition of a stud?”

“I am not well versed in studs save for one Vova. I am for certain that woman who shares your bed? She is a lucky woman.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

Vladimir Putin sat in his office with orders that he didn’t wish to be disturbed. He only went to the Kremlin because that was where he was scheduled to be and to be closer to her.

Yes, her. Not knowing what was going to happen with her was frustrating him to the point of madness. She was all that he could think of. Even hearing Aiah’s name in his own head was a knife to the gut.

He had believed that she would have been overjoyed to be with him for the length of the contract. When she wasn’t, it angered him to a degree. Truthfully, his heart felt battered and crushed that she didn’t return the sentiment – not that he would admit that to anyone.

He loved her. He fucking loved her. He had been willing to change everything for her. And she threw it all away. She didn’t wish to be seen with him.

He made a call. “Where is she?”

When the voice responded, he hung up.

He was restless for the entirety of the 15 minute ride. For over 40 years he had prided himself in is ability to show nothing and she was taking that away from him.

“Aiah!”

She had just walked out of the locker room when she heard the familiar voice of Aleksandr Nikolaichev, her trainer. Aiah was fairly certain that she would have a nasty bruise on her upper thigh by tomorrow.

“Let me look at you.” He pushed on her nose and checked her over.

“Sasha, I’m fine. Well, except my ego.”

“You are lucky. Don’t come in my gym again unless you are here to work like you mean it. You are lucky that your nose was just bloodied. I don’t give a fuck who your boyfriend thinks he is. When you work your head is here, understand?”

“I understand. I’m sorry Sasha. May I have another go please?”

“That’s a good girl. No. You need to take a break. Go up and log your time.”

Jogging quickly up the stairs so that she could log her time for the billing, she was followed by Vasili. The door closed behind her when she walked in to Aleksandr’s office alone. Aiah turned abruptly, normally Vasili would have come in as well.

Flustered, she turned back around only to find a stony gazed Putin.

“Vladimir! What’s wrong?” She looked concerned. “Did something happen?”

“This is what you wear to grapple with a bunch of men?”

Clad only in a sports bra and short compression shorts, Aiah’s lean physique was on display as she had planned on having another round or two sparring so she had changed into clean gear Putin clenched his hands into fists. He wanted to touch her but he would not give in to such a perceived weakness.

“You have seen me wear this exact same set at least 50 times.” Her voice was soft and reasonable sounding.

“Does that make it better or worse if I have seen you in it?” He snarled at her. “You have sucked my cock countless times, does that mean everyone should fuck your pretty little mouth Aiah?!”

She made not a sound but Aiah stepped closer to him. Stopping, she knelt on the cold floor with her head bowed. It was not a submissive gesture. It was an apology.

“Volodya, I have upset you. I would never intentionally do something to anger you. May we go somewhere to sit and talk about this? Please?”

“Did you finish what you needed to today?”

It startled her some to realize that he was jealous. He was asking if she had finished making adjustments that she needed to the contract he presented to her. “I did that first thing. Vladimir, you always come first. Always.” She wanted to say more but didn’t.

It was then that he offered her his hand and a small smile. Aiah placed her hand in his and rose to her feet. Vladimir had always admired her beauty, yes. However it was the regal bearing that made his smile widen.

She could have been a Czarina or an Empress newly crowned. When she stepped closer to him, he knew that he was her chosen One. Was there ever a woman in his life like this one? Clear green eyes held his gaze and instantly Vladimir knew.

Aiah stood, stunned in the moment. It was as if she saw him clearly for the very first time. Gently, she placed her hands upon the lapels of his jacket. He expected her to say something but she stayed silent.

The silence that stood between them was deafening.

In the silent moments Aiah saw him in a different light. This man that stood before her was the single most important person in her world. He wasn’t simply a lover. Lover was utterly insignificant in the way she viewed Vladimir. Dearest friend. Closest confidant. They shared everything with one another in the way only those that live their lives deeply entwined with another person can.

Tentatively she raised her hand to him. There it hung in midair almost as if it were asking permission for something. A fingertip traced over the lower curve of his lip and Aiah closed her eyes. She had known all along.

The words stayed silent but the kiss she pressed to her lover’s lips spoke volumes. So much so that Vladimir immediately thought back to the first kiss that they shared. That first kiss that had changed his life dramatically. Somehow he knew that this one would change his life once again.

How many times would she entice him in ways that he would only be able to recall fully months, if not years, later? When her fingertips stroked over the nape of his neck, he savored her touch like nothing else. Delicate fingertips on his skin was like being brushed with satin.

A cry of pleasure lifted into the air. Vladimir screwed his eyes shut. Was it from him or her? He couldn’t tell as he held her close and tasted yet another kiss. When did this happen? How did it happen? There was no way for him to know and to him it didn’t matter.

Vladimir pulled her up into his arms so that she could wrap her legs around his waist. There was fear in her eyes when their gazes met. The fear surprised him. Had he ever seen fear in her eyes before?

She knew this was completely unfamiliar territory. Her mind was racing, screaming for her to stop. In his arms she shivered as if cold. But she wasn’t. If anything she was too warm and with her heart beating faster, Aiah Corrington had no idea what to do. Secrets. There were so many secrets and to let even one out? It could break her.

They could both feel it, however. The unadulterated passion made them both burn. Quickly, his lips found hers again. He needed to know. He needed to know now. Had he been wrong about her?

That first time he felt her body and saw with his own eyes the lust that burned within her very soul, her sleek body was his to take. She gave willingly of herself then and even now. Then it had been a conscious act. Now? There was no other choice Aiah could make. Without him, she would wither.

While fear ate at both of them, the temptress in his arms made Vladimir smile. He was tired of not having her close. Wanting the little minx was nothing new. Now he wanted her to be a permanent facet in his life. When had their relationship ceased being about simple lusts and pleasures?

Whether or not they would admit to it or not was one thing. However, their relationship was never just physical. She was his aphrodisiac. She was his muse. Aiah was his most trusted confidant. Most importantly, she was his.

“Wars have been fought over women like you Aiah.” His voice was a whisper.

 “There will never be a day in which you have to fight another for me. Do you not know this Vova? I have always been yours.”

 “If we do not leave immediately I am not responsible for what I am going to do in Aleksandr’s office.” He reluctantly set her down.

“I will get my things. Where would you like to meet? My place or yours?”

“Mine. And no you will not meet me anywhere. I best see you in five minutes in my car.” While anyone listening would hear the words as a command, they weren’t. He was showing his affection in a way most would never understand.

She kissed his lips one more time.

Slipping on a heavy sweatshirt, she waved a goodbye to Aleksandr. In the blink of an eye, she was out of sight.  The door to the limo had just shut when Aiah’s wrist was grabbed and she was hauled to the upholstery before him.

“I need you now Kitten.”

She stripped off the sweatshirt and the sports bra without hesitation. Her eyes never left his while she unzipped expensive trousers. An exceedingly gentle touch slid up and down his cock before pulling him free.

Thick and hard, there was already precum at the tip.

She was whimpering with need and he watched the rise and fall of her breasts. Vladimir saw the smoldering fire in the pale green depths and he smiled. He knew the look in her eyes. Aiah wanted him desperately but she couldn’t tear her gaze away from his quite yet.

She kissed the very tip of his cock and licked the precum away.

That lush mouth was soft and the kisses she pressed to his cock were even softer. Aiah looked upwards at him again while she licked every inch of his hardness. Sliding him past her lips, she cried out softly around him. Vladimir smiled. He had never seen a woman who was as enthusiastic about sucking cock as she was.

Her lips tightened around his thick girth. He loved watching her suck him off. Aiah got nearly as much pleasure from it as he did. One hand stroked through her tangled hair. He didn’t guide her. He didn’t need to. Aiah knew what he liked and how he liked it.

Fuck. That hot wet mouth felt so good.

Head back and eyes closed, his hand cupped her breast. Fondling the soft skin, Vladimir was gentle one moment and harsh the next.  Pinching and twisting the nipple, he didn’t hurt her. No, instead her sounds of pleasure poured down his cock.

Forcing her head down, he enjoyed the sounds she made. She was close to gagging when he allowed her to come back up for a breath. She began to suck harder. Lips and tongue worked over his cock. If he didn’t have the physical control that he did, their moment would have ended. Once more he forced her head down. Putin smiled hearing her gag.

He kept both her and himself on the edge of an orgasm for most of the thirty minute ride.

Unable to stand it any longer, he pulled her up on to the seat. Between her legs the fabric of the shorts was darker. She was soaking wet again. Yanking her shorts down to her thighs, he mounted her from behind. He saw her shiver. When she cried out, it made him fuck her even harder.

She didn’t shiver out of fear. He had brought her to the brink so many times, she shivered with the need to orgasm. The cries that left her lips were a strange combination of the highest of pleasures and cruelest pain. He fucked her as hard as he was able and he saw how it took Aiah’s breath away. It made his own lusts spin out of control.

Vladimir whispered soft words to her. He wanted her to embrace the pain and follow the path he was taking her on. Normally a generous lover with Aiah, he wasn’t worried about her pleasure this time.

He didn’t have to worry, his Kitten was hanging on by just a thread. Grabbing her hair, he leashed his Aiah and rode her hard. His seed spilled into her and he cried out her name. Her orgasm followed before his was even finished. Her wetness clenched hard around him milking him for more.

Two minutes later they were both redressed. Aiah was leaning back against his shoulder with his arm around her. Gently, he stroked her bare stomach beneath the sweatshirt.

“Brute.” She nuzzled against his throat.

“You are complaining?”

“Of course not. That was a compliment.”

“You realize if anyone saw us they would think I was hurting you. Abusing you.”

“You do hurt me. But only in the most pleasurable of ways. I quite enjoy your abuse Vladimir.” She touched his hand lightly. “We negotiated what we enjoy, permit and what we won’t. Our tastes are well aligned. And? I love how you taste.” Aiah licked her lips happily.

He chuckled. “Do you wish to negotiate over your contract first or bathe?”

“Will you shower with me? I’ll let you scrub my front.”

“That is an offer I cannot and will not refuse. Kitten?”

“Hm?”

“Isn’t this my sweatshirt?”

“Uhhhhh. Maybe.”

“Thief.” He kissed her temple.

Two hours later, Aiah was wrapped in a large towel, combing out her long hair. Vladimir stood leaning against the doorway, watching her. He was dressed in pajama bottoms with a matching black dressing gown.

“Aiah? I have something for you.”

She stiffened ever so slightly.

“Do not worry Kitten. It is just for you to wear here.”

It was a much shorter robe to match his own. There was even a tiny kitten embroidered on the breast. The black cloth was easily identified as cashmere. He helped her slide into it before wrapping his arms around her waist.

“Thank you.”

“You do not like it do you?”

“It’s not that. It’s beautiful and very comfortable.”

“What is wrong my Aiah?”

“Gifts are difficult for me.”

“Just mine or everyone?”

“Yours are the hardest but it is everyone, even my parents.”

He made a sound of exasperation. “May we speak about this?”

“Of course.”

They went to the television room. This part of his home was off limits unless the person was invited. Vladimir did not turn anything on, he just wanted to have the discussion away from their bed.

“Aiah, what happened?!” He was alarmed and touched the black and purple bruise on her thigh gently.

“I was distracted and Sasha took me down.”

“What distracted you?”

“I was thinking about you.” Aiah replied softly and looked down in embarrassment. Her cheeks burned hotly with the admission.

“What were you thinking?”

“It’s silly.”

“Then make me laugh.”

Sighing softly. “I wanted to be in your arms. I wanted to be in your arms and forget about the rest of the world.”

“Look at me Aiah.”

She looked up.

“You think it is silly that I should want to do the very same thing? When I feel the need to escape, I want to be alone with you. I want to be undisturbed and just have my Kitten with me.”

“I never thought of that.”

“We have spent far too long hiding from each other Aiah. We need to stop hiding. Now why do you not like for me to purchase you anything?”

“I would loathe for you to think that is all I wanted.”

He chuckled softly. “Kitten. My sweet Aiah. We have spent the last eleven years together. After that long, do you really believe I would think such a thing of you? I do understand why you would have worried about that in the beginning. Please understand, I enjoy doing things to make you happy.”

“Vladimir, I don’t need things to make me happy. I am at my happiest just being in the same room with you. That’s not to say I don’t enjoy our sexual escapades. You of all people know that. But what makes me shine with delight? Just being with you. It’s the man that you are not the wrappings that come with you.”

Picking up his hand, Aiah studied it for a minute. She knew his hands well. It always surprised her how strong they were. Tracing a finger over his palm she said nothing. With a creased brow, she could feel her throat tighten. Fear. She felt the cold breath of fear across her skin. How could she tell him how she truly felt when she didn’t even know herself?

No. That wasn’t true. Aiah knew and knew very well how she felt.

“Volodya.” She drew a shaky breath. “I love hearing your thoughts. Hearing the passion in your voice is so precious to me. Your sense of humor is too. You have a dry wit that is razor sharp. I get to watch people take a mental step back to try and see if you are joking or not. Sometimes, they never figure it out. I have to be very careful when I am working with you because the urge to smile is always there. You do that because you bring joy to my heart.”

Looking down again, Aiah pressed a kiss to the center of his palm. It was a battle now. She was trying to keep the emotions from overwhelming her but she was losing the war that waged within her.

“I love simply holding your hand or dancing to music that only we can hear. Some of the most soothing moments, when the rest of the world seems hell bent on self-destruction, is simply swimming side by side or taking a walk with you and your dogs. Stories from your childhood are worth far more to me than any bauble that could be purchased. It’s you. Just you that brings me the greatest of joys. I have no need for things. I have more things than I know what to do with. You are all that I want.”

“I understand.”

“Do you?” Looking up, there was hope in her eyes.

“Yes. I understand completely. My Aiah, your smile is the greatest gift I have ever received. I feel the same way about you.” He leaned toward her and whispered. “The dogs are ours and not just mine.”

“Thank you.”

“I must ask. Aiah, do you need anything?”

“Need? No. Want? Yes.”

 “What is it that you want?”

“You.”

“You have me. I just do not wish for you to go without.”

“Go without?” She looked at him, puzzled.

“You are a picture of feminine beauty and I enjoy seeing you in pretty things. I wouldn’t want you to not purchase something because of the cost. I know you have your own money but I worry.”

Green eyes went wide and then blinked a few times in surprise. “Vladimir do you know how much I am worth?”

“No, that is why I am asking.”

“Somewhere in the vicinity of 65 billion pounds.”

Having never bothered to check, he was shocked. “How?”

“I emancipated myself from my parents at 16. I had two degrees and was already doing a lot of translating and audio recordings for books and whatnot. I scrimped and pinched then, even when I didn’t need to. I took some risks before I met you.

The first one was with an English businessman. He knew that there was something amiss with the accounting at a company of his but he was missing the key to what it was. I had been recommended to him but to this day I have no idea who it was that recommended me.

He was to pay a surprise visit to some of his non-English speaking companies and he came to me to interpret. Whomever recommended me said I was very good at forensic accounting in a few other languages, which at the time was true. I haven’t kept up with it because it was the most horribly boring work you could possibly think of.”

“What happened?”

“There was some sort of scheme going on that money was being filtered through all the companies but you could only catch brief glimpses of it before it was gone again. So the man was missing over 10 billion pounds. This was a huge problem that had been investigated by Scotland Yard and more. It was such a big thing that even Interpol got involved. Nothing.”

“What year was this?”

“Uhm. I believe it was 2007. I knew what was wrong. It was pretty easy to figure out but what I wasn’t sure of was where it started. So, I made a deal with the man. Get me into the buildings that I need to check and if I figured it out, I would take 20% of the 10 billion. If I couldn’t, he wouldn’t be charged at all and I would refund my expenses. Well, I ended up figuring it out.”

“You were just 18?”

“I was just days from my 19th birthday. The second one was the American business men paying an exorbitant sum as if I blackmailed them. I believe that was your work.”

 “Correct.”

“Why?”

“The way they treated you was ugly. You were an intelligent young woman that deserved better. I was proud when you quit on the spot. You showed you had strength.”

“You realize that because of the contract they had to pay in full for everything?”

“Did I know? No. I am not surprised. You looked so sweet and innocent but you were intelligent. It is a good thing I didn’t remember your actual age at the time.”

“Oh? You found out very quickly that I wasn’t innocent.”

“Yes, I did. However, if I would have remembered your age from the dossier I would not have done anything with you. The first time you sucked me off? You frightened me.”

“Frightened you? Why?”

Leaning in, he kissed her lips and smiled. “Your mouth is the most talented I have ever known. I have never seen a woman that enjoyed it like you do. I knew very little about who you were at the time. It was common in the KGB to use sex to get in someone’s head. Plus, I have to confess that I thought I would be making your eyes go wide.”

Aiah laughed softly and turned red. “Would you like to know how I learned to suck cock so well?”

“I assume from a man.” He chuckled.

“Yes, but not in the way you would think. A gay man I know showed me on a condom covered banana and told me what to do. Then he told me to keep practicing on my fingers. So, I did. I bought a few realistic dildos to practice deep throating on.”

The response startled him but he started laughing. “Only you Kitten. Only you.”

Leaning in, she kissed his lips tenderly. “Want to know a secret?”

“Of course.”

“When you asked me if I saw a lot of men? I wanted to laugh. I had sex a total of three times before you and I shagged in your office. That doesn’t mean I didn’t fool around. Actual sex? Just three times.”

 “You’re joking.”

Shaking her head, Aiah smiled. “No. Not joking at all.”

“Aiah……”

“I believe I told you prior, I like pornography. I like to touch and be touched. I studied how the human body reacts and where the erogenous zones are.” She paused for a moment. “Oh and I was a world class masturbator.”

 He was utterly dumbfounded by the revelation.

“Plus? You have the most gorgeous cock.” Aiah smiled and blushed. “I could have just teased you all day with little kisses and strokes. Your flesh is like velvet and satin. You have a certain musk that is delicious. I love burying my nose under your arms and between your legs. It is a huge turn on for me. You excite me in ways I didn’t even know a woman could be excited.”

“You never told me this.”

“I was too embarrassed. When we first started seeing each other, I didn’t know that I wasn’t allowed to cook for you or give you food and drink. It never came up because I was too busy wanting to fuck you.”

“When did you find out?” He looked at her, amused.

“When I was told that I was permitted to.”

“If I may make a confession?”

“Of course.”

“I do enjoy your sharlotka and kulich far more than I should. I am not overly fond of sweets but yours? My own mother would not have compared to you.”

Aiah started to laugh. “I actually know this.”

“How?”

“One of your chefs called me and asked for the recipes.”

“No!”

“Linzertorte? The one you like to serve when you have guests is from me. My father wasn’t always with us but we had a home in Germany. That was where he was based out of. I was almost born in Germany actually. Mum had gone home to London just a couple of days before I was born.

One of our neighbors was this lovely Russian lady. I believe she used to babysit me on occasion. As I got older, she got custody of her granddaughter who was my age. A lot of what I learned to cook came from her. I was about 13 when she passed away. She left me her mother’s cookbooks. I made digital copies for myself and keep the paper ones in a safe with a few others I have been gifted over the years.”

“You are Russian, you just don’t know it.” He kissed her nose. “May we speak more of the contract?”

 “There is something I would like you to know before we get started.”

“Yes?”

“If you do not wish to be monogamous, I understand. Just tell me prior please? Even if it is a text saying   you are going to be with someone. My other request is for you to wear a condom with others.”

The shock of her statement was written on his face. “You wish for me to be with other women?”

“No, that is not what I said. It is your choice if you want to be monogamous or not. That is completely up to you. I am asking you to do two things if you decide to have sex with others. Let me know before it happens and wear a condom. It is just that I would be rather upset if I found out through other means Vladimir.”

Fury was easy to read on his face. He stood up abruptly and backed away from her. “You have no faith in me Aiah? You don’t think I can keep my dick in my pants?”

“What on earth? That is not what I said!”

“What of you? Are you going to go around fucking everything that wants between your legs?! Is that why you were dressed in practically nothing at the gym?”

Fear prickled at the back of her neck and immediately Aiah was on guard. Something about his instantaneous anger made her uneasy. Calmly, she stood and backed away. There was enough distance between them now that she wasn’t within arm’s reach.

She modulated her voice to make it sound more soothing. “If you make the decision that you do not wish to be monogamous? Then yes, I will have other partners if I find one suitable. I have no need or desire for anyone else Vladimir. As for my gym clothing? That is what I normally wear to practice in. You have never said anything about it being inappropriate prior. I have no way of knowing if something bothers you if you do not tell me.”

“Why would you even say such a thing?” He was disgusted.

The hurt was obvious in her eyes. “Neither of us have been monogamous before, that’s why.”

“Enough. If you think so little of me? I’m finished. We are done.” He spat. Turning around, he walked out of the room.

Bewildered, she stared at the now empty room. There was no time for tears. A call was placed so that she could be taken back to her flat. In a flash, Aiah gathered her things and changed back into her own clothing. The robe was left discarded on the bed. It took everything she had not to sprint towards where the car would be brought around.  

Once alone in the car, she placed another call. That one booked the first available flight out of Moscow. She knew all too well how easy it would be for him to find out exactly what her steps were. Aiah didn’t bother to try and hide it. That was even assuming he would try since he was the one that ended the relationship.

She just needed to put a lot of kilometers between them.

Within three hours of leaving the residence, she was in the air. Once she landed in London, she knew how to make herself scarce. And she would. Black sunglasses and earbuds that connected nothing, gave Aiah the hope no one would bother her. No one did.

Renting a car for cash, Aiah drove from London to Ullapool. The 11 hour drive was stretched into a couple of days. Several subversive measures were taken by Aiah so that she managed to fly under the radar. It wasn’t enough to keep her hidden but it gave her a few days that the vast majority of people would never find her.

New clothing and provisions were purchased in the Scottish Highlands. The sun had already set when she went to pick up the key. After making sure that no one was near or in the stone Gatehouse, she found a moment to relax.

Even then, she did not weep with the injustice of the situation. Aiah wanted to cry but she found herself unable to. Instead, she fixed herself a drink. Rarely was it that she drank anything stronger than a glass of wine but tonight was a night for a lovely single malt Scotch.

While exhausted, Aiah didn’t want to sleep. With eyes and mouth both quivering, she tipped her head downwards. She couldn’t remember the last time she felt sorrow engulfing her so deeply. Unshed tears clung to long lashes and before they could fall she wiped them away.

The events of the last 48 hours had proven a point to her. She knew less about her now former lover than she realized. Damn good thing she didn’t sign the contract. Eighteen months? Bad idea. Horrible idea.

Draining the last of her drink, Aiah walked silently through what would be her home for the next few weeks. Shaking her head, she gave up. It was time to sleep.

“What do you mean you have no idea where she has gone?” Putin spoke through gritted teeth.

“Ms. Corrington asked for a ride back to her home Sir. There was nothing unusual about the request. We had no reason to think otherwise.”

“TWO WEEKS! AIAH CORRINGTON HAS BEEN GONE FOR TWO WEEKS. WHY HAS SHE BEEN SO DIFFICULT TO FIND? Go. Go and see if you can find her. Get the dossier out and look at the languages she speaks and where she has homes. She cannot be that hard to find!!”

The man left as quickly as he could.

He knew it was his fault. He was the one that turned his back on her and told her that they were done. In similar circumstances, he would have walked away as she had. He would have left England and returned to Russia.

She was most likely somewhere she felt at home. Unfortunately, Aiah didn’t have a certain place she thought of as home. Putin knew that England, Germany and Russia were where she felt most comfortable. Russia was more because of him. Not that it mattered, they had video confirmation that she had been in London the same day he told her they were done.

She was most likely in the UK still but it didn’t make trying to find her any easier.

If it had been almost any other person, they would be found quickly. Aiah wasn’t the average person. She knew how to hide in plain sight. People tended to notice her oddly pale green eyes immediately but that could be covered up easily.

What she actually knew was a mystery to him. Tobias and Clarice Corrington had both been in military intelligence. For Aiah’s own safety, he knew that they taught her well. There were certain things that while she wouldn’t lie, she wouldn’t say anything about unless asked a direct question. Cursing, Vladimir smashed his hand down on the top of his desk.

He realized that Aiah mostly likely had a similar knowledge to what he had learned in the KGB. It wouldn’t be as detailed but then again it didn’t take a lot of detail. Putin considered calling the US President or her father. The consideration lasted less than five seconds. Calling either would be in poor taste, not to mention an abuse of power.

He knew what she did to hide, it was the same thing he would have done. She probably told no one what happened. Her private and work phones were turned off and then left somewhere safe. She picked up a burner phone. Aiah would have called her parents to give them the number and that would be it.

She wouldn’t have called them directly either. Aiah was smart enough that she would have gone through one of the many switchboards that fielded thousands of calls in and out of the White House.

He doubted that anyone else had the number with the possible exception of President Bryce. The Kremlin had video of her withdrawing an obscene amount of cash from her bank in London. The money would have been put on pre-paid credit cards, Putin figured.  That was also where she left her phones more than likely. A safety deposit box would be ideal for hiding the phones.

He knew she had rented a car and that was all anyone seemed to know. She could have gone anywhere. There had not been a ping on her passport, phones or credit cards. Even the CCTV feeds weren’t showing her anywhere. Aiah Corrington had disappeared and he was deeply worried.

Putin rubbed a tired hand over his face. He wasn’t sure what to think. Aiah was exceptionally bright and detail oriented. It was her mother that retired first. It wasn’t until a couple of years ago that her father retired. Who knew what she could have picked up from either of them, intentionally or unintentionally?

How many times did she point out minute security breaches to him in different situations? He remembered when she showed him how she would have looked for military personnel from when people took selfies. He wouldn’t have even thought of it if she didn’t point it out. Putin had felt old that day. She had enhanced the reflections off people’s glasses, jewelry, and a few other items to show him.

He knew why he had gotten so angry at her. It was just a week prior to seeing Aiah that he spent a few nights with other women. The women were of no import, he couldn’t even remember what their names were. They were willing to do whatever he asked and that was all that mattered at the time.

The only thing that they would do that Aiah wouldn’t? Ménage à trois. It wasn’t that Aiah was opposed to sex with a woman. She had a few trysts with women over the years and had enjoyed them. One of the women was still one of Aiah’s closest friends.

The woman was named Violine. She had warm caramel colored skin, sapphire eyes, and long curling red hair. Her father was Haitian and her mother was Irish. Like Aiah, Violine had been born in London.  It was a chance meeting between the two young women on the Tube. The two became fast friends.

Violine was a model. She had been signed at Elite for over a year when she and Aiah met. Within two years the girls were inseparable. Like Aiah, she had emancipated herself from her parents at 16. Although, Violine’s was because of money. Her parents were spending the money on alcohol and drugs.

They had taken a vacation to the Maldives and rented a private island resort. The dark skinned redhead with blue eyes was the perfect contrast to the dark haired, green eyed beauty that was Aiah.

Violine was an exhibitionist. Aiah was too, at least somewhat. They had made a film of their time on the island. Which included a lot of sex with each other. They could have made a fortune off the video. However, Aiah and Violine did the editing and anything that could identify either woman had been removed.

Vladimir asked about a ménage à trois with another women early on, Aiah declined. He was surprised that she didn’t like women. It had nothing to do with women she told him. She didn’t like more than one partner at a time. It just became too complicated and it was rarely pleasurable.

Aiah wouldn’t tell him how she knew. The past was simply that, the past.

However, Aiah said she did like pornography.

When she told him she had been filmed, he asked if he could see it. A quick text to get an ok from Violine, Aiah showed him. He was the only one that had ever seen it outside of the two women.

The video started at Aiah’s feet and followed her body. Feet together and bent at the knee to raise them, he had seen her lay like that hundreds of times.  Her knees were apart and sheer white bottoms of her bikini showed the outline of her sex.

Violine pulled the material to the side and fucked Aiah with her fingers plunging in and out. The way she rose upwards to grind against the other woman’s hand was quite possibly one of the sexiest things he had ever seen.

Vladimir could have been a blind man and known that was his Kitten. The way she cried out was different from when he was with her but the voice was uniquely Aiah’s.

Fingers trailed upwards leaving wet marks on beautifully tanned skin.

Aiah had rolled to her back. Full breasts with hard nipples came into view. Putin knew those breasts well. Those nipples were so sensitive. He loved playing with them. Apparently so did Violine.

The camera moved downwards. In the hot sun there was a sheen of perspiration on her tanned skin. The bottoms had been removed and the way the camera was held it showed a shadow of Violine licking Aiah’s bare cunt. Tongue darting in and out, Aiah raised her hips to grind against her friend’s mouth.

The camera was set down. It caught the women from the lips down. They loved on each other’s bodies. They stroked and teased while moans slipped past their lips. It was stunningly beautiful to watch.

The next shot was on the beach. His tanned little minx was laying on the white sand. Behind Aiah there was the beautiful turquoise water. The camera working its way up from her feet to her bare arse was just a tease. The slick sheen of suntan oil made his mouth water. When the head of the neon pink strap-on was seen pressing against Aiah’s wet sex came in to view, Putin thought he might have a stroke. Instead, Aiah stroked his cock as he continued to watch.

He came hard on her breasts and belly. Aiah rubbed his cum in to her skin and licked it off of her fingers while he watched her and the video. Rolling to her belly, he saw that she was even more wet now than in the video. Her bare shaven cunt was swollen with need and she pleaded for him to take her. How he was able to fuck her again he had no idea.  

God! He remembered how she was opened and wet for him. He fucked her in time to the video. Aiah, his Aiah felt so good. When he came again, she pushed him back on to the bed. Seconds later he was fucking her mouth. He wasn’t gentle but the look in her eyes was one of pure bliss. He came two more times in a span of mere minutes. 

That was the first time he had a multiple orgasm. He didn’t believe it was possible for men. Now, much to his pleasure and her delight, he was able to have them with some regularity. But only with Aiah.

The last scene was his favorite. In the early morning, Aiah was walking down the beach. Her long dark hair swung with her steps. You couldn’t see her face. She wore a skirt that was barely more than a sheer piece of fabric tied at the hip. Rows of shells were wrapped around her slender hips. They were set in motion with each step. She didn’t know she was being filmed from the way it looked.

Vladimir wished desperately that he could see her face in the video.

Untying the sarong, she just dropped it on the empty beach and went for a swim. The crystal blue waters showed her. Like a porpoise, Aiah swam with ease and grace. When she walked back up to the beach, her laughter sounded happy. The camera must have been on something to render it stable because it didn’t move when Violine’s hands appeared. She rubbed and pulled at her friend’s nipples

The camera shifted and next thing you knew Aiah was riding that pink cock in reverse. Legs opened wide so the camera could see it thrusting in and out. Violine had her arms around Aiah’s waist and they fucked like beasts. When both of them came, it was Aiah’s turn to wear the pink cock.

She fucked her friend’s mouth with it, her voice encouraging Violine with what she wanted. Both girls were only 18 or 19 when the video was made. When Aiah fucked Violine’s ass, Vladimir could hear the smirk in his Kitten’s voice.

Aiah had two concerns in life when it came to him. She wanted him to be happy and she wanted him to be safe. Who else he was fucking was not her concern, nor her business. It would have become her business if Vladimir wanted her to spend 18 months with him.

Especially, since he wished for her to live with him. The offer was put on the table so that he could keep doing what he always had. She had asked for two very minor things, honesty and for him to wear a condom. He projected his anger at himself on to her. If he was fucking other women, why wouldn’t she be fucking other men? Except she wasn’t. He knew she wasn’t. But it kept going through his head.

The thought of Aiah’s slender body arching up against another man and begging him for more was painful. Her kisses on that unknown man’s lips and the sounds she made infuriated him. Just like that neon pink fake cock pressing against her pussy before it slid in and opened her fully, Putin thought of another man inside of her. The thought of another man fucking her arse? He was driving himself crazy just thinking about it.

The women, for some reason, didn’t bother him. Granted, she was pickier about women than he was. Vladimir Putin was a bastard to be around the weeks that Aiah was missing. He put on a pleasant face when he was out and with people he did not know but in his offices? Even Medvedev was cautious about being around him.

While he was agonizing over her, Aiah was doing some much needed self-care. She cooked herself extravagant but healthy meals. Usually she would invite the elderly lady, Nessa McDougal, who owned the cottage over for dinner. They would talk for hours over a glass of good Scotch.

Nessa was in her late 80s and as spry as a woman half of her age. With a wicked sense of humor and a keen mind, she reminded Aiah of Grisha’s widow, Nastasia.

Electronics were put aside for the time that Aiah was in Scotland. The phone was left on because of her parents. She did have her ancient iPod for music but other than that she eschewed electronics. The days were busy with all sorts of activities and the nights were peaceful with music and a book. 

Once the tears started, they didn’t stop. Aiah cried hard and often. It was the realization that she may never be allowed to see Obsidian again that made the dam break. The jaguar was her baby. She had been with the big cat through everything. Through him she finally allowed herself to mourn both Obsidian and Vladimir.

The last week there, she and Nessa were having dinner. Aiah had made pasta and did a roasted tomato sauce from scratch.

“Who broke your heart Aiah?”

Stabbing a piece of tomato, she grimaced. “That easy to tell?”

“Aye, lass. Yer runnin’ from sumptin’ and I am bettin’ that it be a man.”

“I fell in love. We were never monogamous. We both had other partners since we lived something like 3000 km away from one another. He wanted me to move to his country and be with him. I offered that he could still see others just let me know and to wear a condom. He got angry and said we were done.”

“Men are such bampots!” Nessa swore. “Listen ta me lassie, men? Thems heid’s full o’ mince. Ev’ry last un o’dem. Even my blessed Caelen….” She made the sign of the cross. “…as arseheided as tha’ came. Ya wit’ him long?”

Nessa was on her second glass and the woman’s accent was ringing true. It made Aiah smile. While she didn’t feel that any part of the UK was truly home, she loved the people dearly. Her landlady was the reason why. 

“Eleven years.”

“Aww, ye poor lamb. He dinnae hit ya?”

“No. He knew better than that. I am smaller than he is but I also am better trained in hand to hand combat. Nessa, he is a good man. He just didn’t know how to deal with me.” She shrugged. “I never really had a home. I mean I own property and have a place to call my own but I have spent my life traveling. First it was because of my parents and then on my own. I suppose because of it I have a different outlook than most.”

After walking Nessa home, she sat outside with a small fire going in the fire pit. Nursing a glass of whiskey, she looked out to the loch. It was true. Vladimir was a good man. Or at least Aiah believed him to be. She was aware of what the western media said in regards to him but was too close to be objective in that respect.

Draining the glass, she felt foolish. Aiah wasn’t sure what she did wrong. Vladimir would have never remained faithful.  They worked well because they weren’t always together and there was no expectation of anything but shared pleasure. Even knowing such didn’t help her aching heart.

She was tired. It wasn’t the sort of tired that sleep could cure either. Aiah’s soul was exhausted. Eleven years with a man that would toss her away so easily? Once again she felt foolish. Looking out across the loch a sob was torn from her throat.

She had fallen in love with him a long time ago.

Love. It was a love that she kept hidden from everyone, including herself most of the time. How can that be love when you have to hide? There is no greater agony than bearing an untold love story inside of you. The quote was from Maya Angelou and Aiah thought about it often.

He didn’t love her, this she knew. Aiah forced herself to be okay with that. After all, what other choice was there than to not see him? There were still feelings there, weren’t there? Now she wasn’t so sure. Until she was told that they were finished she had never believed herself to be so easily disposable to him.

I want you with me like a drowning man wants air to breathe. Those exact words. She had thought that he had meant them. They were apparently just words.

It was after she had already had several orgasms in a row, he had pulled out and came on her face, throat and chest. Aiah had loved it. Most women Vladimir had known wouldn’t have allowed it let alone enjoyed it. He smeared his own cum over her skin from hairline to tits. His seed clung to her lashes and dripped from her chin when he was done and she happily licked his hands clean.

He stared at her then. No, it was more than a stare. He gawked at her in utter surprise. She made no move to wipe it away. He made the first move by holding her down while he buried his face between her legs.

She was so sensitive that it was painful. Trying to get away from him, she twisted and turned. Two more orgasms were coaxed out of her. Aiah screamed in pain and cried with the pleasure of it all. Immediately afterwards, she laid against his chest sobbing. The intensity and control he had over her body had frightened Aiah. He held her close in those moments. Once the tears stopped they spoke about what had just happened.

Aiah remembered what he said. “I want you Kitten and I don’t mean just in my bed. I don’t know if you are my dirty little secret or my sweetest of sins but I want you with me like a drowning man wants air to breathe.” Vladimir kissed her forehead and stroked her hair tenderly.

That had been the first time she realized he could break her in ways she wouldn’t be able to heal from.

There had been another time that she had laid in his arms blissfully happy. She had just finished sucking his cock and could still taste him on her tongue. She had surprised him by dressing up as a 1920s French burlesque girl. The corset that she wore was cinched tight and exposed her nipples. It was the first time she wore rouge on her pussy for him. It was something he had never seen before. With a garter on her left thigh, Aiah wore high heels that pushed the limits of her being able to walk in. Cupid’s bow red lips and that was all she wrote.

With a song playing from her phone she gave him an old style lap dance he would never forget. That time he quoted Michael Faudet "You have such a pretty mouth. To feed it only kisses would have been a wasted opportunity."

There was only a single time that she told someone about a weekend with him. The country, scenario, and even the name were all made up. Her friend was upset that she had allowed herself to be “abused”. Except Aiah didn’t feel abused, she felt adored and cherished.

It felt good to put her body on display for him. One of the greatest joys she ever found was surprising him with something new. It wasn’t really anything she wanted with other men, just him. She knew why. He enjoyed it just as much as she did.

Men wanted to show her off. She was a pretty piece of arm candy. It was boring. Unbelievably boring. She had accepted a blind date once. She was 21 at the time. The man was quite possibly the dullest human being she had ever met. He wanted to show her off.

At 21, she had already made quite the name for herself. The man wanted to take her out on a yacht with his friends. Because, sure that sounds safe. Even when she dated Aleksandr Sokolov, arm candy. It was mind numbing. Nobody knew about her with Vladimir. He was possessive, yes. But he never saw her as a possession.

Sighing she shoved her hair back and sat with the feelings she had. And goddamnit she felt rejected. And yes, still foolish. Rejection felt the worst. Aiah had never been rejected before. It was a very new and an impossibly raw feeling.

Sighing softly, she put out the small fire and went inside. These wounds would take a very long time to heal Aiah realized. All in all, it would be six weeks before she appeared back on the radar.

Tanned from being outdoors so often, Aiah looked beautiful. Dark coffee colored tresses were a couple of shades lighter than they had been, just by being in the sun. Six weeks and no strange Russian interruptions, hopefully that was in the past now. 

Aiah was finished cleaning up the stone cottage and was putting everything in the rental car. She felt better. The six weeks of solitude helped greatly. The catharsis that she had gone through during the six weeks was needed. She felt raw but cleansed of what was eating her alive. The wounds would eventually heal. It would just take a while. There would always be a bit of sadness by how things ended with her and Vladimir. Alas, there wasn’t anything to be done about it.

Perhaps one day they could be friends again but she wasn’t hopeful.

Slowly, she was putting her life on a course that avoided Russia in general. By August her penthouse home in Moscow sold for 400 million more rubles than she paid for it. It was a tidy bit of profit. She cut all ties with the country outside of close friendships.

It was a rainy late September day and Aiah was at home updating her schedule when the phone rang.

“Hello?”

“Hey there beautiful.”

She laughed. “Logan! My love, my life!! How are you?” Logan was her cousin.

“Good. Very good. Noah says hello.” Noah was Logan’s fiancée.

“Give that man a kiss from me. I miss you two.”

“You should miss us! So, how do you feel about seeing me on October 7th?”

“Not both of you?”

“Noah has a trip back to the US that week for work. I need someone on my arm.”

“So you pick your cousin because she is the safer option? Where do I need to be arm candy?” This was the sort of arm candy she had fun with.

“But of course. Actually it is for one of the large formal social gatherings here.” Logan worked for US Embassy in Germany.

“Are you wanting to hire me or is this just for fun?”

“Just for fun darling girl. You need a break. The food will be delish. You will get to dress up all pretty.” He pronounced it purr-tea.

“You know, I have been working myself half to death. It sounds like a brilliant time. Will Russia be in attendance and if so who would it be?”

“I do not see them listed at all. So no dressing Russian.” He heard her eye roll. “What is your deal with the Russians? You are always in that damn country.”

“What? I was working. They pay quite well, better than most countries.” Assuming you are fucking their President. Aiah rolled her eyes at herself.

“Girl, you get paid well because you look like a goddess that can suck cock better than even I could.  Good. I’ll email you the deets and send you a copy of the invite and your flight. Thank you babygirl.”

“Look like? I am a goddess and yes I can dear boy. I love you Logan. Tell that fiancée I love him too.”

“Of course. Oh and Noah says we have to take lots of pictures. Yes, I heard that face you made.”

She and Logan had been the best of friends since they were toddlers. His mother was Tobias’ sister.  With all traveling that Aiah’s family did when she was young, she and Logan were always there for each other.

When Clarice Corrington retired from the Royal Air Force, her sister-in-law traveled with them much of the time. Ava Walker’s husband was a military man like her brother Tobias and they went for long periods of not being able to see him.

Since the children got on so well it made sense to the two mothers that the children should be together. Logan spoke almost as many languages as Aiah did, which made his career skyrocket within the US Department of State and into the American Embassy in Germany. 

 Aiah was the first person he came out to because she was the most important person in his life and the most reliable.  They had been 14 years old at the time and out on one of the swimming platforms. Their mums had decided to stay the summer at Königssee.  She looked at him when he told her and asked a single question.

“How does this change anything?”

“I don’t know.”

Ever the tomboy, Aiah slugged him in the arm and wrapped him up in a hug. “It doesn’t, arsehole. You are still Logan. You are still my cousin. I love you. Always have. Always will. Someone tries messing with you though? I will kick the stupid right out of them.”

And she did.

Aiah beat the daylights out of 5 different adults for picking on her cousin when they were just teens.  

The sixth man? She was 21 years old, no longer a teenager. Aiah came very close to killing that one. She swore to him that she would kill him if he came near her loved ones again. Luckily, he believed her. If he would have gotten near Logan or Noah? She would have killed him without remorse. That body would have never been found either, not that anyone would have wanted to look.

She abhorred violence but Aiah would protect those weaker or anyone she loved without hesitation.

When she walked in to the main room of the event, conversations stopped mid-flow and heads turned. There wasn’t a person there that didn’t take notice of Aiah.

The dress of muted greens and gold was secondary to the woman. With a delicate bodice that was painstakingly beaded by hand, she looked glorious. The dress left her back completely bare. So Aiah wore a golden topaz and diamond choker that had strand of baroque gold pearls fall to the small of her back. She wore no other jewelry. Her normally almost black hair had flashes of gold in it with all of her time spent in the sun the last few months. It was pulled up and out of the way, exposing more skin.

It was not the beauty of the dress that was noticed but that she was truly a woman clothed in strength. Aiah wore dignity and respect like a mantle but kindness was her crown.

Those that didn’t know who she was were few and far between. To work for almost any country in the world and not have heard the name Aiah Corrington? It was virtually impossible.

Not only was she highly sought after as an interpreter, the most powerful countries in the world had strong ties with her. Aiah was well known to dignitaries, heads of state, and ambassadors all over the world. Her reputation and professionalism were stellar.

However, very few knew she was related to Logan Walker. Aiah’s status increased his.

Offering his arm to Aiah, the cousins stepped further into the opulent room.

A woman of worth knew that her value was far greater than something that could have a price tag placed upon it. Women that knew such were often times called enigmatic. An air of mystery surrounded a woman that had such knowledge. Such a woman would make a man long to know the secrets they concealed. These were the women that made a difference in the world. Aiah was a woman of worth.

“Aiah, you would NOT believe how many people have asked me what you are doing with me.” Logan laughed quietly when he returned to her side with drinks from them both.

“Well can I assume that they know about Noah?”

“Not all of them, no.”

“Really? I’m surprised.”

“No, don’t be. There are people I work with that we just don’t know each other outside of a hello. Girl, you have just made my career skyrocket. Thank you. How do so many people know you?”

“Word of mouth? I think it is the children’s programming that I have done to be honest. Plus Dad and Uncle Joseph have helped out a bit. I can get you some of my contacts if you want.”

“Dr. Corrington is that you?”

Aiah turned at the sound of her name and her face lit up happily upon seeing who it was. “Doktor Sauer! It has been ages.” She kissed his cheek. “Is the Chancellor in attendance tonight?”

“I’m afraid not my dear.  I only popped by because a few of the fellows are in attendance. I didn’t see you on the list.”

“Shh. Nobody knows I’m here. I came as a guest. I am not even working this evening. Please, allow me to introduce you to my date. Dr. Sauer, this is Logan Walker. He is part of the US Embassy team.”

“Herr Walker, a pl-“ Sauer looked confused for a moment. “Aren’t you Dr. Durham’s fiancé?” Sauer realized his faux pas immediately.

“We’re cousins Dr. Sauer.” Aiah smiled at the same time Logan did. “Logan’s Mum is my Auntie.”

“I am so sorry.” Sauer patted Logan’s shoulder.

“Not to worry, it happens a lot when people see me without Noah. It gets even more confusing when it is the three of us out.” Logan smiled warmly.

“I can’t believe I didn’t realize it. You two look very much alike.”

The three chatted for several more minutes before others joined and left. It quickly became a parade of people that knew either or both of the cousins.

Finally given a moment of respite, Logan whispered to Aiah. “Noah has come up with what you should be called.”  

“Should I be afraid?”

“Yes. Instead of best man for me you are to be my best bitch.”

“I like it. I like it a lot.” She laughed happily.

“If we could figure out how to do it, we would both have you as our best bitch.” Logan blinked rapidly to clear the tears away. “Aiah, you are the platonic love of my life and Noah’s too. I have no idea what the two of us would do without you.”

“Logan, I love you. I love your husband-to-be in equal measures. You won’t be without me. You have to be my cousin but you are also my best friend. I will try to come up with something. You know I could just walk you both down the aisle. Instead of giving you away I can bring you two together. Hell. I could walk you both down the aisle and then turn around and give the ceremony.”

“This has possibilities. I like this. I like this a lot! Let me talk with Noah.” Logan stiffened. “Aiah, there is someone watching you very closely.” The words were whispered.

“Oh?” She turned just enough to see who it was. “Ah.” She sighed.

She didn’t smile. Instead, she dipped her head slightly in acknowledgement before turning back to Logan. “You may wish to vanish. I am not sure what is about to happen.”

“Are you kidding? I am not leaving you alone with that man.”

“That man? Oh for the love of some damn god Logan, I’m not in any danger. Besides, I can kick your ass six ways from Sunday.”

“Wait, was HE the reason why you spent so much time in Russia?”

“I worked in Russia.”

“Honey, he is old enough to be our grandfather.”

“Shut your mouth.” She whispered through gritted teeth. “He and Dad are the same age.”

“Uncle Toby is old enough to be our grandfather.” Logan shot her a look. “He’s coming over.”

“I was not aware I would find you here Aiah.” Putin’s voice was soft. “You look quite lovely.”

She tilted her head slightly and gave a nod of recognition to the compliment. “I was not aware you would be here either Vladimir Vladimirovich. Happy Birthday to you.” She hadn’t forgotten. She would never forget.

“Thank you. Who is this young man with you?”

“Please allow me to introduce you to Logan Walker. Logan works at the US Embassy here in Berlin.” 

“Logan as you know, this is Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin – President of the Russian Federation.” She spoke in German.

“A pleasure, President Putin.” He offered his hand.

The handshake was bone crushing to the point that even Aiah winced.

“How do you two know each other?” Putin asked.

“Logan is the one that invited me.” She didn’t lie.

“Have you two known each other long?” Putin was fishing.

“You could say that.” Logan wrapped his arm over Aiah’s shoulders, pulling her close to him.

“Aiah may we speak for a moment privately?”

Green eyes were luminous in the golden lighting. Aiah didn’t notice the tremble in her lower lip but Logan and Vladimir both did.

“Very well.”

“Aiah?” Logan looked worried.

“It’s alright Logan. President Putin and I have worked together for over a decade. He knows me quite well.”

Following him, they walked into one of the small business rooms at the hotel. Vladimir told his security that they were not to be disturbed. At all. Turning around, he looked to the now seated Aiah.

“You look beautiful Kitten.”

“Do not call me that, please.”

“Aiah, I am so sorry. I acted a fool.”

“Yes you did.”

“I know. The thought of you with another man? I was devastated. Now seeing it actually happen?”

Her nostrils flared as she looked at her former lover. “From the very first day we met and fucked in your office? I knew that once we said our goodbyes, you would have another woman or women available to you. I also knew that you would take advantage of that availability. That is why I insisted on no strings attached. You never found that odd?”

“Yes, I did.”

“Do you know why I did that?”

“No.”

Standing up, she stared at him for close to a minute. In her high heeled sandals she cut an impressive figure. Placing her hands down on the table between them, Aiah leaned over and made sure they looked each other in the eye.

“I didn’t want to hear the lies that would come from your lips if I didn’t. Sadly, I fell in love but all along I was a bloody fool who simply wanted to believe that I was different or special. In the end, I was simply disposable. ”A tear tracked down her cheek, which she wiped away with a quick hand. “Even now, I still love you and I am furious at myself for those feelings.”

“So much in love that I find you on the arm of another man?” He was now on his feet as well.

Aiah slapped his cheek. “His name is Logan Walker. I suggest you Google him.”

She walked away only to turn towards the elevators. Seeing that she was not being watched or followed, Aiah took the stairs instead. The night was over as far as she was concerned. Maybe it is time to start thinking of a change of scenery. The US is lovely this time of year. She could probably take a job with the State Department in DC. Between her father and the President, she would not be at anything that Russians would be at. Except, she had no desire to live in the US. Perhaps a call to Auntie Lisa was in order? Auntie Lisa wasn’t actually a relative but her mother’s dearest friend.

Aiah sent her cousin a quick text, letting him know she was fine but would be on the next flight out of Berlin. In her room, Aiah did a quick change. She was already packed and ready to leave in the morning. She switched into comfortable travel wear and a ball cap and she was walking out into the evening air to hail a cab.

In less than a blink of an eye, everything went horribly wrong.

Aiah Corrington disappeared.

Vladimir was speaking to some of his security men to see if Aiah had left. He turned at the right time to see the attack. Shouting, he didn’t think of his own safety when he ran towards her. The security men all knew Aiah and immediately went into action while securing Putin.

Four men grabbed her, knocking off her ball cap. Aiah, well versed in self-defense, was able to drop two of the four men before she was rendered unconscious by a chloroform like substance and injected with heavy drugs. The two men were arrested and the other two that had Aiah got away. Everything she had on her was still sitting on the curb.

Sitting up, Aiah felt dizzy. Pulling her legs up in a lotus position she rested her head in her hands. The drugs were still in her system and she wasn’t coherent enough to begin to question what happened yet.  Dizzy and nauseous she didn’t know that her every move was being watched. She fell back asleep for a while before waking once more.

This time she had the wherewithal to question what was going on. Dressed in generic white pajamas, she knew that the garments didn’t belong to her. Aiah had no idea where the hell she was. Trying to remember, her memory felt garbled. The last thing she remembered was slapping Vladimir.

Breathing in. She did a 12 count breathing technique in order to stay calm. Aiah started to quickly inch past frightened, however. Panic rose in her chest while she tried to keep her wits about her. Looking around furtively for something, anything that could tell her what the fuck was going on, she saw him.

Sitting next to the bed in a chair was Putin. He had dozed off while watching over her.

“Vladimir!” The note of panic in her voice was apparent.

Her voice roused him immediately. He looked at her sitting up and he couldn’t help but smile. “Aiah.”

“Vladimir? What is going on?”

“You’re safe Aiah. You’re safe. What do you remember?”

“I slapped you.” The creeping panic began to hit and Aiah started to hyperventilate.

“When you tried to leave the hotel, you were taken.” Alarmed by her breathing, Vladimir stood.

“What? Why? Oh god.”

Aiah launched herself forward. Security was in there immediately, ready to restrain her. She didn’t move towards Putin but up and over the end of the bed. It was the wastebasket situated close to the door that she wanted. Aiah began to vomit.

He told the men to leave and to get the physician. Kneeling next to his lover, he lovingly held her upright as her body shook with the painful retching. Picking Aiah up off of the cold floor, he helped her back to the bed and placed the wastebasket in front of her.

Vladimir sat behind her and held her gently when she began to weep. With her cheek to his chest she began to shake once more. Her tears wet his shirt and his skin.

“Aiah. Shh. I have you. You are safe. I promise you, you’re safe Kitten.”

Looking up at the camera the impatience upon waiting for the physician was apparent in Putin’s blue eyes. The man arrived less than a minute later. The physician gave her an anti-emetic and started a fresh IV. The doctor also gave her a small dosage of a tranquilizer to help calm the crying Aiah. Vladimir stayed seated with her and kept a protective arm around her. When Aiah winced at the poking and prodding of the physician, his gaze was sharper than any scalpel.

When the physician left, he kissed her temple gently. “Aiah….”

“Where am I?”

“You are safe. You are at the Kremlin.”

She was still afraid but the medications were starting to take effect. “Why am I here? How long have I been out for?”

“A little over 24 hours. You know this place and it is safer than just about anywhere.”

She was visibly shaking while her mind caught up with everything. The panic in her eyes was evident. Putin held her just a little bit closer.

“Aiah. You are okay. I’ve got you.” She began to cry again but this time she wrapped her arms around him. “I didn’t know you were going to be there in Berlin. Your name wasn’t on the list of interpreters.”

“I wasn’t working. I was there as a guest of Logan’s.”

“Logan? Oh yes, your young and handsome date.”

“I’ll let him know you said that.”

“How well do you know this young man?” Was he the connection? They didn’t have many answers yet.

“Quite well thank you.”

“You move quickly don’t you?” The normally unflappable man snapped at her.

She smacked his shoulder and pulled away. “You are jealous? Oh for the love of Christ! I told you to Google Logan’s name. He’s my cousin Vladimir. He is my cousin.”

“Yes I was jealous. How could I not be?”

“Tell me what happened? Please?”

“We had gotten into an argument. You walked out of the hotel. When you went to hail a cab four men grabbed you and trying to force you into a car. You took down two of them but the other two rendered you unconscious with chemicals. From there you were put in the back of a car and driven off. The two men that you took down are in custody.”

She just stared at him.  

“You know how it is. At events like this one, I have security everywhere. I was also staying at the hotel. I saw it happen so did my men. My men, with the help of the Germans, found you within an hour of you being taken. You were unharmed other than when you fought back. Merkel immediately got in touch with President Bryce.” He didn’t go into detail about what happened. Now was not the time for details.

He looked at her. Putin knew he had never seen such terror in her beautiful eyes.

“The two men that had me? What happened to them?”

“They were killed.”

Aiah nodded.

His voice was soft. “Your mother and father are on their way here. The flight should land in three or four hours. We all thought it would be better for you to come here. That ‘we’ includes President Bryce and your parents. The Kremlin isn’t unknown to you and it is safer.”

“Thank you.” She turned her head to hide the tears that wouldn’t stop coming.

It was painful seeing her like this.

“May I have something to drink please?”

“Of course.” He opened a bottle of water for her. “You didn’t tell anyone about what happened did you?”

“No. Why would I? That was between us. My father didn’t need to know.”

“Oh Aiah, I owe you such an apology. I was a complete and utter fool. I told you I had wanted more and then walked away.” Sighing he looked upwards to the ceiling. “I wasn’t angry at you Aiah. I was angry at myself. It was less than a week before we were to see each other that I had brought other women to my bed.”

He paused. Looking to her, he couldn’t read her expression. It wasn’t a surprise. She was like he was. If she wanted you to know, you would. If she didn’t? Good luck.

“You are the most beautiful woman ever. It’s not just your physical appearance either. Your beauty is your heart and soul. Foolishly, I settled for less. There is no woman that compares to you Aiah. When you offered me that bit of freedom I felt that you were not taking me seriously, which wasn’t true. It was me not taking us seriously. I meant what I said. I want you here with me. I don’t want to have to be without you. I am deeply sorry what I said to you and what I did to us.”

“Thank you.”

“Losing you is the biggest mistake I have ever made.”

“Don’t let it be. Vladimir, go back to Alina. You don’t have anything in your way now. Start over with her and your child.”

“Aiah, I have no feelings for her. You were the one I wanted all along and 11 years later you are still the one I want. The only one I want.”

“Why?”

“You are not just my Kitten. You are my sun. Aiah, you warm me and brighten my life. You have a way of calming me that no one ever has been able to do.”

“I don’t know what to think.”

“You have the drugs lingering in your body still. Wait until the effects go away completely before trying to think too deeply. The six weeks that you were gone, what did you do?”

“You will laugh.”

“Then make me laugh.”

“I hiked, swam, went fishing, and went horseback riding. I cooked extravagant meals. Finished reading a lot of books and just sat with myself.” It was all things they liked to do together.

“But did you do it shirtless?” He joked.

“Swimming yes. And some of the time bottomless too. The rest, no. It did not sound pleasant to do so.” She smiled just a bit.

“Were you alone?”

“Yes. The widow that owned the cottage I rented was not too far up the road. I would bring her the fish I caught and have her over for dinner. Other than that, I was alone. Occasionally Buster would drop by.” Aiah half smiled at the memory. “Buster was this huge orange colored tabby. He belonged to the lady but he and I got on well.” Sighing softly. “Vladimir, I told you the truth. There have been no other men in my life besides you for a long while.”

She looked to him and rubbed her eyes.

 “Do you know why someone kidnapped me?”

“Why? No. Who? Yes.”

“Who?”

“Anti-American militant group.”

“And I am not even American.”

“No, you aren’t, this is true. But your father is.”

“I figured it was political somehow.”

“You are in a unique position that most everything about your life is political even though you aren’t a politician.”

“May I go for a walk? These walls are too close for comfort.”

 “I’m sorry Aiah but no. The physician that is taking care of you wants you to stay in bed.”

“Well fuck.”

Putin chuckled. “I may have a solution. I’ll be right back.” Ten minutes later, he returned.

“I have an option for you.”

“Oh?”

“If you would like, you may go to my home. There is more than enough security there so you will be safe. “

“Vladimir, thank you. But, I don’t wish to impose.”

“You have never been an imposition. I am the one that thought of this Aiah. I needed to check with security and the physician first. I want you with me.”

She nodded. “Okay, thank you.” Looking up to him, she smiled gently.

“I’ll send your nurse in here so she may help you get ready.”

 Less than an hour later, they were at the home of Vladimir Putin.

She was given a guest room. He wanted her in his own bed but Vladimir would not ask. She was too vulnerable. If she was to stay with him it had to be because she was able to say what she wanted without the effect of drugs.

Sitting up, she looked exhausted. “I think I need to sleep.”

“Rest Aiah. Your parents will be here soon.”

“Vladimir?”

“Yes?”

“Don’t leave, please?”

“Are you sure?”

“Yes.”

“Let me get a chair.”

“No, lay down with me please?”

“Of course Kitten. Just so you know, this room is watched. That is for your safety and in case you need anything. If you awaken and I am not here, just say what you need. It will be brought to you.” Shoes were removed so that he could lay on the bed.

“Thank you.”

Laying on his side, he held Aiah close to him. With his arm around her, she fell asleep quickly. Holding her like so gave him hope.

Aiah had been asleep about two hours when her mother and father arrived. Vladimir Putin greeted them first.

“Mr. Corrington, Mrs. Corrington. Welcome to Novo-Ogaryovo. Aiah was asleep when I checked 15 minutes ago. Please, come to my office so that we may speak. Your daughter informed me that you both speak German, will this be alright to converse in?”

“Yes, thank you. President Putin, thank you for taking care of her until we could get here. It is much appreciated.” Tobias spoke quietly.

He looked at the two worried parents and knew the feeling himself. Vladimir Putin was worried about her too. “I will always try to do what is right by Aiah.”

“How did it happen that you didn’t know she was going to be in Germany?” Tobias asked.

“Her name wasn’t on the list of interpreters nor was she specifically invited herself. She was the guest of Logan Walker.”

“That’s my nephew. They have been close since they were toddlers. Still, how did you not know?”

“I know now she didn’t tell you but we stopped seeing each other in the early spring.”

“I see.” Tobias ran a hand through his thick steel colored hair. “That isn’t a surprise. Aiah has never really talked about her private life with us after she left home. She really never talked about it with us when she was still living at home.” He gave a wry smile.

“When we stopped seeing each other? She left the country and turned off her personal phones. There was a period of six weeks that I had no idea where she was.” 

“What? Did you know this Tobias?” Clarice Corrington looked horrified that her daughter could have easily disappeared even then.

“All I knew was she was on an extended vacation. President Putin, do we know why my daughter was targeted?”

“Yes. We do now. Aiah does not know yet. She has been asleep since before I was told. One of the anti-American groups in the Middle East were the ones that took her. We originally thought that the motive was political but no. Its leader had seen Aiah on the television before and became infatuated with her. When he found out what her names meant, it went from infatuated to an obsession. He decided it was fate telling him she should be his because his name meant the same. His name was Horu.”

“Do you have any idea where he is?” Tobias knew the name and fear struck his gut. Horu was a sick sonofabitch.

“Yes. He’s dead along with most of his close followers.”

“How did he die?”

“It was not by my command if that is what you are asking. Aiah has found favor with a great number of countries and their leaders. More importantly, their wives and children. He and his followers were destroyed because of that. Horu’s act was considered an insult and treasonous.”

“How did that happen, her finding favor?” Tobias asked.

“It’s a fairly long explanation. Most of which the answer is simply the woman that Aiah is. It isn’t just languages she knows. She knows the customs, dress, and culture of a great number of countries. She is respectful and kind in all situations.

Several years ago she had traveled with me and the daughter of the crown prince was going through a rebellious stage. The girl was only about 14 years old at the time. She ran into Aiah and knocked her down. The girl was sobbing and Aiah gained permission to speak with the young lady. Nobody really knows what was said between the two but it changed the girl and for the better.

Because of that single incident Aiah became close with the royal family. She is especially close with the girl and her mother. The king ordered the execution of Horu and his followers for Aiah. I apologize for not naming names but I was asked not to mention who or what country. They will speak to you through official channels Mr. Corrington.”

“Thank you President Putin.” Tobias was about to say something to his wife when a phone call came through.

“Excuse me one moment.” Putin answered it.

“She is awake.” Said the voice on the other end. Putin didn’t say anything and simply disconnected the call.

“Aiah is awake. Would you two like to see her?”

Clarice answered first. “Please?”

“Mr. and Mrs. Corrington, please follow me.” He led the worried parents to their daughter’s room in the private quarters of his home.

Tobias sent his wife in first. Ever since the last meeting at Novo-Ogaryovo, Tobias had a very strained relationship with his extremely private and independent daughter. For that reason, he stayed out of sight while Clarice and Aiah spoke.

“You did not tell her.” Putin’s voice was low.

“No. I didn’t think Clarice needed to know.”

“I have been afraid to tell Aiah that I love her.” Putin admitted. “This year I almost lost her, twice. First time? It was my fault. I was a jealous bastard. I failed her horribly. Because of that, I didn’t see her for six months. The second? A madman wished to covet her. I know what would have happened to Aiah if Horu had gotten his hands on her. Both of our countries have seen his handiwork.”

“Horu was a sick fuck. When I was still in the Army, I saw some of the women he left to die. One of them was only 13 years old. Her crime? She had gotten her monthly cycle on the day Horu was supposed to have her for the first time.”

“We have seen similar terrors Mr. Corrington.”

“How long have you been seeing my daughter?”

“I know she refused to tell you. I should too. But no, you are her Papa. You deserve to know. Eleven years now.”

Tobias gawked at the man standing before him. He didn’t know what to say. A man that was more than old enough to be Aiah’s father. A man older than himself just told him that he had been fucking his daughter since she was just barely more than a girl.

“Why?”

Putin sighed and rubbed a hand over his face. “If I had realized how young Aiah was, it never would have happened. However, when I found out how old she was I didn’t stop seeing her. I already loved her by then and I wouldn’t let her go. I couldn’t even admit to myself that I loved her but I did. Mr. Corrington, I understand that you dislike her and I having a relationship. I don’t blame you for being upset by us but I do love her.”

Turning, Tobias said nothing and walked into the room his daughter was staying in.

He watched Tobias hug Aiah and sit in the spot where Vladimir had laid with her just a couple of hours ago. With the family reunited, he turned away. They needed their private time. 

It didn’t bother him that he had shared too much with Tobias Corrington. Being open and honest with Tobias was important. He wasn’t honest because he was trying to keep Aiah from leaving. If anything, it would drive her away faster. Vladimir was honest because he respected the man that helped Aiah become the woman he loved.

Remembering the conversation they had years ago. They had agreed that if they parted ways romantically, they would remain friends. Vladimir hoped that it was true. To have Aiah completely gone from his life would be excruciatingly painful. Those six months without her had been some of the worst of his life.

He gasped when something hit him from behind. Whirling around, Putin believed it was Tobias. It wasn’t. Aiah didn’t give him any time to react. Her arms were over his shoulders and her lips were pressed to his before he could utter a word.

The ice that had surrounded his heart for most of his adult life disappeared before he knew how to react. She kissed him hard. This time the kiss didn’t build with intensity. It was immediately intense. Lips parted, giving him access. Her sleek body pressed tight against him, only to curve and fit even closer. Terrified of hurting her, he held his Aiah with care. When she pulled back slightly, he saw the tears.

“Volodya, don’t walk away. Please? I love you. I still love you.” She closed her eyes briefly which made the tears spill down her cheeks.

Rarely one to be caught off guard, he was stunned. Blue eyes searched her face and it was then that he caught Tobias Corrington’s barely perceptible nod from behind.

“You love me Kitten?” He couldn’t believe it.

“Yes. You. I love you and only you. I have loved you for what seems like an eternity Volodya.”

“President Putin, if you will excuse us. We have had a long day of travel. If it is possible for us to call a cab to take us back to our hotel? Clarice and I will give you both some private time.”

“Mr. Corrington, you and your wife are more than welcome to stay here.”

“Perhaps another time Sir.” It was Aiah’s mother that responded. “I believe you and Aiah need some private time without us.”

“Thank you Mum.”

Clarice kissed her daughter’s cheek. “You are welcome sweetheart. We will see you tomorrow. And President Putin, thank you for everything.”

A state car had been brought up to take them back to their hotel.

“Shall we sit and talk Kitten?”

“That would probably be a good idea.” She gave him a sheepish smile.

“Where would you like to go?”

“Could we start a fire outside and sit there?”

“Your wish is my command.”

He made her wear one of his coats while they sat outside. The weather was not quite cold yet but it was close. They were wrapped up in a couple of blankets as they sat together. Aiah’s head was resting on Vladimir’s shoulder.

“What prompted you to come after me?”

Aiah blushed. “My mum. If you have any intention of keeping us out of the tabloids you are going to have to stop looking at me.” She started to laugh.

“I am afraid to ask.” He loved hearing her laugh once more and smiled at Aiah.

“I look more like my father than my mother but I certainly am my mother’s girl. When you and my father stayed out of the room, after she said I love you my Mum asked how long we had been seeing each other for. I gave her a vague answer just saying for a while now. She asked if I loved you. Mum rolled her eyes at me when I came back asking her why.”

“You are in bed recovering and you were about to get in trouble with your mother?” He laughed.

“Yes. I was. She gave me a look and said it was obvious you loved me, did I return the sentiment. I was a bit stunned by her response. My father came in and I saw you turn away. Mum told me that if I did I needed to tell you now or risk losing you. Dad was about to stop me when she smacked him lightly on the back of his head and told him in no uncertain terms to stay seated.”

Under the blankets she held his hand gently. Aiah gave his fingers a light squeeze. “I do. I do love you and have since the beginning.”

“Aiah, why did you not say something?”

“I’ll answer you if you will answer the same.”

“Of course.”

“I was afraid. May – December romances rarely end well.”

“I do not understand. What do the months have to do with it?”

“My apologies English sentiment and Russian words don’t always mix well together. It means a significant age difference between couples romantically involved. Often time one partner has an ulterior motive like status or money.”

“This is why you refused all gifts from me?”

“Yes. And I assumed that I would be replaced eventually.”

“Replaced?!”

“Yes.”

“Aiah! What would ever make you believe that? Did I do something to make think such?”

“No. Volodya, you did nothing to make me think that. It was all me. I was a 20 year old pretty piece of fluff that was unimportant.” He started to say something. She kissed his lips to stop him. “Vladimir, don’t try to argue. It was true. That isn’t to say I wasn’t intelligent or at the very least somewhat savvy.  Most 20 year olds are pieces of fluff. And given I have seen a few photographs of you at 20? You were cute and fluffy at that age too.”

“I was on my way to becoming a KGB agent and you call me cute and fluffy?” He was trying so very hard to maintain a straight face.

“Vladimir Vladimirovich, you are one of the most powerful men in the entire world. You are a very handsome man but?”

“But?” He arched his eyebrow.

“You are still cute and fluffy.”

He started to laugh. “Come, you have been up and around too long. I need to put you back in bed.”

“I won’t argue with this.”

“No sex.”

“Oh now you aren’t playing fair.” She grumbled.

“I do have something for you. Not to worry, it is not a gift. It actually is not from me. Vasili left it for you.”

“Vasili did? Odd.”

“He was the first one there when you were found. He was furious with himself for not taking care of you like he should have been.” What he didn’t say was that the FSO agent was also the one that killed the two men that had Aiah.

“He wasn’t supposed to be watching me.”

“For 9 years he was in charge of your security Kitten. He cares deeply for you.”

“You are alright with that?”

“Vasili doesn’t care that you are a beautiful woman Aiah. He would however would not mind an introduction to your cousin.” He smiled hearing her laugh.

They walked back into the residence hand in hand. Something they had never done before.

“Where do you wish to sleep Kitten?”

“With you.”

“I would like that.” He kissed her lips briefly.” I mean it Aiah, NO sex. “No trying to trick me either. Once you are cleared by the doctor, well we may not leave the bed for several days.”

“I will sleep in the other room if you prefer. I do not wish to make you uncomfortable.”

“No. It has been far too long since I have held you in my arms in our bed.”

When they finally crawled into bed she wore a pair of his running shorts and an undershirt. Vladimir looked at her. The thin cotton did little to hide the fullness of her breasts. Somehow, dressed as she was, Aiah was more erotic than when she wore the lingerie he so liked for her to wear.  

“You are home now.”

“Yes, I am. I love you Vladimir.”

“I love you as well Aiah.” He looked into her sparkling eyes and wondered if falling in love with the same woman while you were already in love with her was possible.

“Just so you aren’t caught off guard, you know Lyudmila and I still speak?”

“Yes. You told me. You two are still close friends.”

“Does that bother you?”

“No. Truly, I am not the jealous sort. It testifies to the strength of both of your characters.”

“She called on the 8th. I was still so worried about you, I confessed everything. I told her when we met, how long we had been seeing each other, all of it.”

“I hope this information didn’t hurt her.” Aiah’s brow creased.

“I don’t believe so. Aiah, our marriage was over by the time we returned from East Germany. We both knew it but we had our girls to think of. She is remarried now and happier than she ever was with me. Immediately, she knew who you were.”

“Really? Hardly anyone knows my name, unless they are needing to hire me.”

“She didn’t know your name or anything that would identify you. She had seen you on the television several times. It wasn’t just with me. When I told Lyudmila that you were British, she thought I was joking. We talked about you for a while. She was concerned about how I was treating you.”

“You have always been good to me.”

“No, not always.” He stroked her cheek with adoration. “Aiah, she would like to meet you. Part of it is because of our daughters and grandchildren. You have nothing to worry about concerning safety.”

“I never even thought of that.” She smiled softly. “Being unsafe around her that is.”

“Why are you blushing Kitten?”

“I am?” She hadn’t realized.

“Yes.”

Her cheeks turned even redder.

“What is it?”

“Smile for me Volodya?”

He did smile. Right as Vladimir did, she leaned in. The kiss she gave him was a gentle caress. Teeth nipped at his lower lip and she suckled gently there. Inhaling sharply, he could feel the heat from that kiss.

Aiah wanted him to feel every nuance of her desire. Always unpredictable when it came to the bedroom, she pulled away. He groaned. Unable to help himself. Vladimir pressed her down and on to her back. Her hands stroked over his bare chest sensuously.

Teasing his ear, she tugged at the lobe. “You are mine Vladimir Vladimirovich. Mine.”

He kissed her. Aggressively. Shoving Aiah’s shirt up to her neck, her breasts were fully exposed. He had been surprised to find out that first time they fucked that her breasts were natural. He had enjoyed teasing them since that day.

She was just as aggressive. Shoving him to his back, Aiah put her hands on his shoulders. Full lips were curved upwards. It wasn’t a smile. No, the smile had been replaced with a dare. Kissing him once more, she felt that she could taste his soul on her lips. His hands were smooth and gentle when he caressed her breasts. Nipples were rubbed against the palm of his hands.

“Aiah, we must stop.”

“No.”

She kissed him again.

“Aiah…” Her name became a warning.

“Do you truly wish to stop?”

She laughed softly hearing him groan. “Hm. I will take that as a no. Watch me Vova. Watch me.”

Laying on the lower half of his body, she kissed his belly. While she kissed and licked around his navel, Aiah massaged his cock. Green eyes never broke away from his blue gaze.

Traveling down further, she pulled the pajama bottoms down and blew Vladimir a kiss. Once more, she didn’t break eye contract. He was mesmerized by the beauty and lust in her gaze. With her mouth wrapped around him, she moved painfully slow. When he couldn’t take any more of her teasing. He began thrusting up into her mouth while holding her head down.

Sounds of lust and need whispered across the thick cockhead until he released his pleasure into her hot mouth. She swallowed his seed with her own sort of bliss. Only a tiny droplet clung to the corner of her lips. Vladimir wiped it away with his thumb and offered it to Aiah.

She licked it off before sliding her mouth around his thumb and sucking harder.  

“Sneaky Kitten.”

“What do you mean?”

“I told you no tricks.”

Sliding upwards to curl against his frame. Her lips found his throat and wafted soft kisses against him there. Even now, the sounds of pleasure were purred against the skin of his throat.

“You could have stopped me at any time, Volodya. Besides, I didn’t have sex. You did.”

He shook his head. “You know I still have something for you?”

“I didn’t forget.”

“You were just hoping I had?”

Aiah laughed warmly and kissed right below his ear.  

“Do you remember when we went to the summer camp for girls?”

“Oh yes! The sporting camp. I got to fence with a few of the young ladies. There was that one girl that was well on her way to becoming an Olympic worthy epee fencer. She nearly bested me. I expect to see her in a few years.”

“The girls were sweet and they showed us how to make a flower crown.”

“They showed you how to make a flower crown and I got to model it.”

“This is true.” He chuckled and handed her a small jewelry box. “This is from Vasili. He had this made for you but for me to give to you. The blue flowers are called blue butterfly larkspur. They symbolize an open heart and can be associated with strong romantic feelings. Which was why I picked them for your hair. The vinok, is what the crown is traditionally called.  It’s a sign of purity and marriage, Kitten. When we left, Vasili kept the crown simply because it could have caused problems. He had the idea to make you the necklace. It had to be dried in a particular way in order to do this. The day he gave me the gift for you? You had left the day before.”

“I’m surprised you kept it, as angry as you were.”

“I wasn’t angry at you Kitten, I was angry at myself. No matter, I didn’t stop loving you. Did you stop loving me?”

“No. I cannot stop loving you. It is impossible.”

“Open it.”

Opening the box there were three flowers pressed between 2 pieces of fragile glass. Gold framed the simple pendant. It was small and beautiful. The pendant hung on a piece of silk ribbon that matched the colors of the flowers.

“Vladimir.” She whispered his name. “Oh. It is beautiful. It is absolutely beautiful. Thank you. Thank you for keeping it.”

“There are three flowers for a reason. You are a part of my past. You are part of my present. You will be my future. Vasili’s brother made it for you and you alone.”

Unable to do anything else, Aiah kissed him. Vladimir pulled his Kitten into his arms and held her close. With arms encircling her waist, he returned the kiss. With everything that had happened in the past year, they were gentle and even tentative with each other. Even so, the passionate fire they shared wasn’t hidden. They craved each other in a way that had gone unsated for far too long even though it was just after she swallowed his seed.

If they kept up, he wouldn’t be able to stop himself. His voice croaked when he finally was able to speak. “Aiah, my love. We must stop. If we continue I may end up hurting you.” His voice held both regret and longing as he pulled away.

Vladimir Putin was about damn ready to call the doctor himself to see if he could take his beloved further.

Aiah looked into his blue-grey eyes. “Volodya.”

“Why are you looking at me like you expected that your heart might break?”

Aiah looked down and smiled. “No.  There is no expectation of such, I swear to you. I am just amazed at the clarity I have found.”

“Oh?”

“The most powerful man in the world is the one that I have entrusted my heart to. You are the only man that could break me.”

“Aiah, what is wrong?” His brow creased with worry.

“Nothing is wrong. Not a thing. Nobody was comparable to you. Ever. No one in my life could make me feel the world around me like you could.”

“I don’t understand what you are trying to say Kitten.”

“Volodya, it has only ever been you.  You were the only person I ever looked at and thought to myself yes, him. You were the person that taught me how to love.  Then you were the man who taught me how to stay in love. I want to be here Vladimir. I want to be here with you.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

Aiah had a lunch scheduled with Lyudmila that week. She wasn’t afraid meeting her lover’s ex-wife but she knew it would be painful. They arranged a meeting place one afternoon. Once they were introduced, both women sat down.

“Lyudmila Aleksandrovna thank you for meeting with me.” Aiah’s voice was soft. “I must apologize to you. I was young, dumb, and selfish when……” She sighed. “I was young, dumb, and selfish when the affair started. I thought of no one but myself and that was wrong of me. I cannot tell you how sorry I am.”

Lyudmila studied the younger woman. “You weren’t the first nor will you be the last.” Her tone was kind, not cruel.

“I never figured I would be the last, to be honest.” Aiah gave a little shrug. “I told him that I didn’t expect monogamy from him. I asked him for two things when it comes to other women. Tell me first and wear a condom. If I find out through other sources? I walk away and there will be no contact from me again.” It was written in the contract they signed as part of her new work commitment.  

“Why wouldn’t you want him to be faithful?”

“He wasn’t in the last eleven years, I can’t imagine him starting now.”

“What of you?”

“No. I haven’t been faithful either. He knows that and has known that from the very beginning.”

“Does he treat you well Aiah?”

“Yes, he does.”

“Please be careful. He has a temper.”

“I know. He wouldn’t touch me in anger.”

“Don’t be so sure.”

“I am as well trained as he or better trained in Sambo, Judo, and Krav Maga.” Aiah smiled wryly.

It made Lyudmila laugh. “I can see why he would be attracted to you. Not only are you intelligent, you are strong. Vladimir respects you.” Her tone changed to something serious. “Our daughters are not happy.”

“I can’t imagine they would be.” She took another sip of coffee.  “Lyudmila Aleksandrovna I am so very sorry about my hand in the pain I caused you and your daughters. My apology seems weak. If I knew what I could do to show you, I would do it immediately.”

“Aiah, our marriage was over before you were ever born. He was a philanderer then and Vladimir will continue to be until the day he dies. Even if he doesn’t touch another woman, it still beats in his heart and soul.”

“Still, I was foolish and cruel.”

“Thank you Aiah. I truly appreciate your candor with me. How are you doing after what happened?”

Aiah shrugged slightly, it had been just ten days ago that she had been taken from the hotel. “It’s a bit touch and go still. Luckily, I don’t remember much of it and they hadn’t had time to do anything except try to get out of Berlin.”

“What happened to you was something I was always afraid of for my daughters.”

“I can only imagine. My parents didn’t find out until after I was safe. Chancellor Merkel spoke to President Bryce and he elected to keep my parents out of the loop at first.”

Lyudmila’s cheeks blossomed red with worry. “Why would he do such a thing?!”

“Oh! My apologies. I wasn’t thinking. President Bryce is my father’s closest friend. They have known each other since they were little boys. He’s also my godfather. When my parents were both in the military, he and his wife would take care of me for a few weeks. I consider him to be family. My father is also President Bryce’s Chief of Staff. So there was all sorts of protocol and whatnot.”

For three hours they spoke candidly to one another. When it was time for both women to depart, they did so as friends and without malice. They discovered that they enjoyed each other’s company and wished to speak again in the future. 

On a cold but bright Saturday morning, Aiah was sleeping soundly. It had been just two weeks since the kidnapping and the nightmares plagued her often. With an arm wrapped around her slender waist, Vladimir held her close. The fear that he could lose her again was clawing at his throat. He was having his own nightmares after what had happened.

Vladimir Putin’s heart ached with the realization of what he had done. Women had always been simply for pleasure for most of his life. He had only committed to Lyudmila because that was what was expected of him in the KGB.  

For the last decade, he ran from Aiah often. Vladimir used everything to try and buffer the feelings he attempted to ignore. He never expected to fall in love. Ever. He certainly didn’t expect to fall in love with a woman 35 years his junior.

When she went to leave with only a thank you, he had been surprised. He had to see her again. There was no way he could just let her leave. Vladimir should have known that it was a mistake. That connection he felt so quickly was dangerous. He fell hard and fast for Aiah Corrington. Rarely was she far from his thoughts, no matter what he was doing. That included doing other women.

In the beginning, he had actually been embarrassed by how much he wanted her and how often. He even apologized. Aiah had smiled at him and shook her head. Everyone speaks a different language in their heart, she told him. Sometimes that language is physical more than the cerebral. There is nothing wrong with it.

In the dark of their shared bed, he smiled to himself. He had noticed that she didn’t particularly like being touched. Yet, they were very physically affectionate in private. When he asked her why, she laughed softly. Aiah told him that he was the exception to almost every rule she had. She enjoyed his touch and touching him very much.

He had wondered in those early days if it was because she wasn’t demanding of him that he craved her as he did. Vladimir didn’t expect anything out of their affair. It was supposed to be about mutual pleasures given and received. They would have moved on eventually. It was never to be about love.

Love. Love was the most dangerous of emotions. Love was easy to exploit. It was why he kept his daughters out of the spotlight. It was why he kept his daughters away from him.

Vladimir chastised himself in the quiet darkness. He should have known that he would fall in love with her. The way she had turned the tables on him so easily? No woman had ever done that. It was inevitable that he would have loved her.

Christ, he had been so very wrong about the little green eyed minx. He had truly believed he would surprise her. Vladimir was a well versed lover and knew it. Not only did he enjoy women, he was taught how to satisfy one.

And God Almighty he wanted to have that one begging for more. Instead, it was he that begged. That very first kiss, he smiled. It was just a kiss but there was nothing just about it. She left him breathless and wanting with nothing more than a fucking kiss.

The first time she sucked his cock? That sweet and talented mouth was a new sort of heaven. He wasn’t going to be so crass as to make her swallow but when he went to pull away from her she gripped tight to his hips. Aiah didn’t stop until he came. Those beautiful eyes looked up at him while she swallowed every single drop.   

The look of absolute pleasure in her eyes and the way she licked her lips, it made him hard again immediately. He took her all three ways that afternoon.

Vladimir knew he wasn’t a young man even then but she made him feel young. She begged for him to fuck her arse.  He did so with pleasure. Animated and strong, Aiah knew how to control her body to give them both the ultimate in bliss.

Even now, it was her first choice if he asked where she wanted him to fuck her.

After the third time, she kissed his lips affectionately but went to leave. Aiah didn’t ask for anything nor did she offer anything more. It was he that wished to see her again. He remembered the look of surprise in her eyes. She gave him her business card. That was it.

He wouldn’t even get her personal mobile number for four years.

When he told her he was going to be in London in 2 days, she said nothing. Oh that meeting, it was unlike anything he would have thought. She walked out on him.

It had been just 48 hours after he had fucked her in his office that he was in London. Aiah had been at a rather formal event that evening when she got the text from him. She would see him when she was able to leave.

Putin smiled, remembering how she looked.

She was still wearing the gown she had gone to the event in. Dressed in black silk, Aiah had looked like an actress out of an old Hollywood movie. Her dark hair was swept up and her full mouth was painted a red color that on most women would be whorish or at the very least garish.

On her it looked like the sweetest of sins.

He smiled looking at the sleeping woman in his arms. Gently, his fingertips stroked through Aiah’s hair. Pressing closer to him, she smiled in her sleep. A single word left her lips.

“..Volodya…..” Drifting back to her dreams, it was easy to see that she was blissfully happy.

“I love you Aiah...” He kissed her temple.

Thinking back to the early days of their relationship once again, Putin remembered how beautiful she was that night. Gorgeous and aloof, it wasn’t what he expected. She was distant to the point of being chilly. It would be later that he realized she was always like after being in large groups of people she did not know or at least did not care about. Eventually, she wouldn’t be that way with him but it took years for that to occur.

The deep-v of her dress coupled with that her back was left bare made her look all the more sensuous, touchable even.  It was one of those A-line style gowns that had a hidden slit. There was something about her that seemed so innocent but so very seductive at the same time.

That slit exposed her almost to the hip when she walked. It didn’t go unnoticed by him. Needing to divert his attention momentarily, he poured them each a glass of wine. The wine made him focus elsewhere. If he didn’t look away he would do or say something inappropriate.

 They sat down and talked for hours. He couldn’t remember the last time he had enjoyed talking to someone for such a long period of time. Even now, he loved talking to Aiah. There was no one else he could do so with. He saw people constantly. Someone was always needing his attention. In his downtime Putin preferred quiet. It was one of the reasons why he loved animals.

She had begun to thaw while it just the two of them talking.

And her voice? Sultry and soft. There was a just a hint of a rasp. A simple hello from her sounded like an invitation to something slightly dangerous. It was a voice that drew you in and kept you captivated.

“Do you dance?”

“What sort of dancing?”

“Waltz.”

“Yes, I can waltz.” He chuckled.

With her phone, Aiah put on music and stood up. She pulled off the heeled sandals she was wearing and offered her hand to him. “Will you dance with me?”

He said yes. The laughing, smiling woman in his arms was a delight. When the song was over another one began. Dance with Me by Michael McDermott started to play. Laughing once more, Aiah asked him to put his hands on her hips.

He did.

The fluid movements of her sleek lithe body surprised him some. When her hands covered his, she led his touch gently so that his hands ended up on her stomach. The way she moved to the song was beautiful. That rock hard arse of her’s tortured him in the most pleasant of ways as she ground against the front of his trousers.

She spun around and faced him. Her body was pressed tight to his and when she began to lead he knew that he would follow her damn near anywhere. When the song was over, Putin kissed her. Blushing, she smiled.

“Thank you for humoring me Your Excellency.” She used the formal address.

“It was my pleasure. Aiah?”

She looked at him questioningly when he said her name.

“Here, it is Vladimir. Titles are for other times.”

“Thank you Vladimir.” She tried his name and decided she enjoyed it being on her lips. Looking down she bit her lower lip. When she finally looked up again, she whispered the words. “Next time? I’ll sing for you.”

“You can sing?”

“Everyone can sing, the actual question is should they sing.”

They spoke and laughed for two more hours.

There was something so intriguing about the young woman before him. She was witty, beautiful and fun. He could think of nothing that could be more enjoyable than spending an evening as they did.   

Putin asked for a woman as beautiful as she, why she wasn’t in movies or magazines? It had been meant as a compliment. It brought his lovely companion back to a place she wished she could forget.

Downing the wine swiftly, she placed the glass on a table and rose to her feet. “Thank you, I had a lovely time tonight. Have a pleasant evening Vladimir Vladimirovich.” She gave him a nod and went to leave.

“Aiah, what is wrong?” He was surprised.

Turning sharply, she looked him in the eye. “I pride myself on being someone that is more intelligent, interesting, and complex than might be assumed. Most people do not look past my appearance, which is a shame. I can assure you that the inside is far more interesting than the outside. It is also why I was hesitant to see you again. Good night.”

There was no anger in her words nor was there malice. The sound of disappointment was apparent but nothing else. It was obvious that this sort of thing was not new for Aiah Corrington.

The following day he met with the British Prime Minister once again. It was a day of camaraderie, supposedly. The men were attending Wimbledon in the Royal Box. Unbeknownst to Aiah, who was standing and talking to her godparent’s son and his wife before everything began.

“Pretty little thing is she not?” Gordon Brown spoke quietly after he saw Putin looking at the young woman. “She is a lovely girl, quite skilled.”

“Yes.” Putin didn’t want to say anything but a response was needed.

Another man chimed in. “Her name is Aiah Corrington. She has worked well as an interpreter many times over the last couple of years. Allow me to introduce her to you. Perhaps you might get a reaction out of the girl. She is quite unflappable in the most English manner possible.”

He glanced at the man that spoke. Putin couldn’t remember the man’s name, for he was not of any import, merely a middleman that worked at the UK Embassy in Moscow. “No, it is not necessary.”

“Bollocks my dear man. She is a lovely girl. I have heard she has studied the art of courtesans of centuries ago. She is quite educated, talented, and even charming. I know of none that she has taken on, so it may be but a rumor. But what man could resist a beautiful young lady that is a paramour to the royal, noble and wealthy men of society?” The man smiled and it was wholly unpleasant.

After sending one of the aides to get her attention, Aiah walked over.

When she arrived, Aiah gave none of the men a reaction. “Prime Minister Brown.” She spoke in English. “Your Excellency.” She addressed Vladimir in Russian. Quickly she switched back to English. “May I be of assistance gentlemen?” She ignored the man from the Embassy.

“Miss Corrington, have you met Prime Minister Putin?”

“Yes Sir, briefly.” Turning her head, she smiled a bit more. “I hope you are enjoying London Your Excellency.” Aiah spoke in Russian to Putin.

They spoke for a good ten minutes before she was called away. Putin understood why she had gotten upset with him. All the men spoke to her as a pretty girl. That was what they saw in Aiah. She was not seen as a woman with a dearth of knowledge about the world and the politics surrounding it. She wasn’t even seen by the men as the stellar linguist that she obviously was.

Vladimir had done his research on her after she departed the evening before.

Aiah Corrington was sought after. She was one of the few linguists that could ask virtually any price she wished and people would pay it. To use her services was a sign of status. Yet, few looked past her appearance and it came from the top down. She was just a pretty girl and it was the worst sort of insult.

They spoke later that evening with Vladimir apologizing. That night he saw her fully bared to him.  He had many beautiful women in his bed over the 55 years he had been alive. They had never been like this one.

Her body was made for pleasure, of that he had no doubt. There was something that made her look untamed and slightly wild. Her long curling hair and those strange pale green eyes set her apart from everyone.

None of that mattered.

She had been right to leave him the night before. He would have never understood otherwise. It was her intelligence that set her further apart from others. Somehow she taught him more about physical pleasures than anyone else ever could. She would continue his education but it would be the pleasures of the heart and soul that she would teach him in later years.

Aiah noticed reactions quicker than anyone he had seen. She didn’t just know how the human body worked, she had a deep understanding of why it worked that way. The knowledge of how to move and where to touch made her all the more exciting.

“I believe you owe me a song Aiah.”

“I do.” She tapped her fingertip against her lips “Were you fond of English, American or Russian music when you were a lad? Or perhaps something else?”

“Russian in my youth. Once I went to university I heard more diverse music.”

She took a moment before beginning to get the tempo down. She sang ‘Katyusha’ for him.

“How? What did? How??”

“I learned to speak Russian as a small child. By the time I was doing so fluently my parents were sending me for voice lessons. It was my tutor’s favorite song so I learned it as a birthday present for him.”

“Was this in London?”

“No. Germany. My grandparents lived in London and that was our permanent address back then but I spent most of my youth in Germany. I was with my mother mostly, who was in the RAF. That’s why I have more of a British accent than an American or German. When I was in London or the US, we would do the lessons over the phone.”

“Would you sing it for me again?”

She did. This time he joined her.

It took him a couple of years to understand his lover better. She was delighted when he was content and satisfied. From the first moment his gaze met her’s, Vladimir felt protective of Aiah. It wasn’t until the third year that he realized she felt the exact same way about him. That was the single recognizable moment when he knew he loved her.

It wasn’t long after meeting his Kitten that he had started seeing Alina Kabaeva, he still regretted stepping away from Aiah. In the beginning, Kabaeva was easier. She lived in Moscow and was readily available to him. They could meet at a moment’s notice.

He still saw Aiah when he was able but it wasn’t as often in the first two years. She was regularly on the other side of the world from him and very busy. As time went on something changed between him and Alina. She grew more possessive and demanding of him. She wanted to marry. Most of all, she wanted him to stop seeing other women and divorce Lyudmila.

All of a sudden he felt trapped.

He needed to breathe, so he called Aiah. He had not spoken to her in six weeks. It was the longest time he had gone without speaking to her, especially since he normally spoke to her every day. The only longer period they went without speaking was when he told her they were done. That time it was six months.

She returned the call that evening while getting dressed to go out that night.

“Aiah, my calls to heads of state are returned quickly if not immediately and I cannot get an answer from you?”

“Why hello and good evening Vladimir. Yes, I am well. Thank you for asking.” She chastised him gently.

He tempered his voice. “My apologies. I did not mean to take out my frustrations on you.”

She said nothing.

“I want to see you Aiah. I miss you.”

“I’m working Vladimir. I am unable.”

“Where are you?”

She wouldn’t lie but good god she didn’t want to tell him. “Moscow.”

“You are here and you didn’t tell me?” He was furious at the time but it really was the feeling of hurt and betrayal.

“No, I did not tell you. Vladimir, we agreed on no strings attached for a reason.” She reminded him. “We have not spoken in six weeks and you neglected to return my calls. Now if you will excuse me, I have a date this evening.” She disconnected the call.  

Aiah was going to put both her phones into her clutch and decided to leave the work one at home. Her personal phone was taken.

She and her date went to see a performance of Rusalka, which Aiah loved. She loved virtually anything by Dvořák. They went out to a nightclub afterwards. Her date was none other than Aleksandr Sokolov. The 35 year old actor had gotten his start as a child star in Russia. By the age of 25, Aleksandr was a hot commodity all over the world. Now, he had become a celebrated film and stage actor based out of London. Still, he returned to Moscow as often as he could. It would always be home to him.

Sokolov had met Aiah only two days ago. They were both guest speakers at the Moscow State Linguistic University. She had just finished giving her speech to the students and was taking questions.

“How many languages do you speak?”

“Full fluency, including technical, biological and other terms, 10. Mostly fluent but not with full knowledge of specific terminology, another 10. Reasonable expectation of conversation I think it’s 12. Yes, 12. I forget sometimes.” She smiled sheepishly which caused the students to laugh.

“What sort of places do you work?”

“Large international businesses, governments, research, translating books and honestly your opportunities are endless. A friend of mine teaches actors how to do a proper accent or speak as a native speaker would, for example.”

“What part of Russia are you from?”

Aiah laughed softly. “I’m not Russian. I am from London and still live there full time but my father is American while my mother is English.” They had not known she wasn’t Russian born.

“How old are you?”

Aiah turned red and then even redder. “I’m 22.”

A twittering of voices were amazed. Sokolov hadn’t met the other speakers. He didn’t have the time nor desire to. After catching the last part while he was getting ready to leave, he saw Aiah. He stayed and asked her out on a date, which she accepted.

The nightclub was loud and crowded. However, Aiah and Aleksandr were treated like VIPs. The dress she wore was an expensive backless halter of gold that shimmered in the flashing lights of the club. Lightly bronzed skin was shown to perfection.

There were men watching her every move courtesy of the Prime Minister. It was the first time that there would be a full protection detail with her but it wouldn’t be the last. Out on the dance floor Aiah was a picture of lust and sinfulness. There Sokolov wrapped his arm around her slender waist from behind. Holding on to her possessively, he pulled her back to him. Turning slightly, she looked over her shoulder at him with a wicked grin.

Sokolov’s bodyguards were mostly for show and if any one of the men that watched Aiah Corrington decided to step in, the bodyguards would have been useless.  If any of the bodyguards would have tried to lay a finger on Aiah herself, they would have been useless against her as well.

Their affair lasted just three months. It ended when he wanted more and Aiah did not.

Putin arrived inconspicuously the following morning with breakfast and an apology. Aiah steadfastly refused to allow her lovers to stay overnight. She would fuck them senseless but she refused to actually sleep with them. The exception was Vladimir.

He was the exception to damn near every rule she had.

Three heavily armed men searched the spacious flat while he sat down and ate breakfast with her. Aiah was not pleased with her privacy being invaded as such. While understanding it was for Vladimir’s protection to a degree, she was not foolish enough to think that was what it was all about. She had been out with someone and he wanted to know more.

The first three years of their relationship was, at times, difficult. Vladimir knew it was because of him. Possessive and jealous, he didn’t like the thought of sharing Aiah.

“How many men are you seeing Aiah?”

 She scowled at him. “I am not a courtesan as David whatever his name is so likes to believe.”

“You know he said that?”

“He has been saying that since I was 16. Which was even more comical back then because I was a virgin. Quite an innocent one at that.”

Vladimir believe that Aiah thought more like a man did than she should. A woman shouldn’t try to be a man. He had told her that early on. She had just finished sucking his cock at the time. Her talented mouth had been wrapped tight around him and she made him cum in record time. When he finished, she pulled away. Licking her lips happily, she licked his cock clean. That was what earned Aiah the nickname Kitten.

He had been rough with her. Her lower lip was swollen and it looked almost painful. He had kissed her hard upon seeing that look. It wasn’t that Putin wanted her to be in pain. No, he wanted her to remember what they did for a day or two afterwards. Every time she smiled he wanted her to think of him.

“You and I? We have much in common Aiah.” He was laying back on the bed with his hands behind his head.

“Oh?”

He could tell something was going on behind her eyes. She was amused. It was perhaps the third time he had seen her outside their romp at the Kremlin. Putin later admitted he had been a fool that day. He thought he knew more about his lover than he actually did.

“You think as a man does.”

Aiah chuckled softly. The low sound was melodic. When she looked at him with those cat eyes it was the first time he realized she could be dangerous. Not that he was in danger, no. He knew she was intelligent but was a lot more to her than simple intelligence. Aiah was like a scalpel, sharp and precise.

“I do not think like a man, Vladimir Vladimirovich. I merely act as a man acts. I enjoy sex. I enjoy fucking. I feel no need to wait for love or, god forbid, marriage. I take such liberties as I see fit. Why shouldn’t I?”

“You do not wish to marry?”

“God no. I’m 20 years old Vladimir. Why on earth would I wish to marry?”

“You are how old?”

“I am 20.” She looked at him curiously. “You didn’t know my age?”

“No.” He wasn’t happy. Aiah was younger than his youngest daughter. “Why do you take liberties? A nice young lady shouldn’t act in such a way.”

She laughed. “I just sucked your cock and you are telling me a nice young lady that shouldn’t act in such a way. “ She shook her head.  “I shall act however I damn well please. Vladimir, it doesn’t work both ways. You cannot expect me to be a sweet little innocent virgin and know how to get you off like you were a sixteen year old boy once more. Besides, if I was a nice sweet young virgin I wouldn’t beg you to fuck my arse. 

Sex doesn’t mean anything other than sex. It isn’t love. It isn’t just for procreation. Although, there are times when sex is about power.”

“So which of us is more powerful?”

Aiah straddled his hips with her hands on his chest. “We are equals. If you are looking for some sort of self-validation through sex then you are keeping the doors unlocked. You will eventually let someone in that shouldn’t be in your head.” She kissed his brow. “You know that just as well as I do.”

He did. He knew it quite well. Sex could be a valuable tool. It was used often in the KGB. It had surprised him that this woman that was barely more than a girl knew such things.

“Do you see a lot of men?”

“Do I see?” She chuckled lowly once again. “I’m not a whore nor a slut.”

“Then I am to assume you enjoy sex with me?’

“Yes, I do. You are an interesting and well versed lover. I enjoy you very much. But it is more than that.”  She had kissed him then.

“More than that?”

Putin pushed her backwards and on to the mattress. Half teasing, he held her down. Aiah looked up at him with a smile.

“Yes. Much more. Kiss me.” She ordered. “Kiss me and I may tell you.” She gave him a smirk.

He gave her just a peck on the lips.

“You are going to need to do better than that.”

A hand threaded through her hair and jerked downwards. It made her neck arch. His lips brushed at the hollow of her throat. He tasted her skin there. It was her body that arched that time. Smiling, Putin covered her body with his own.

The kisses traveled up her throat and along Aiah’s jaw. His breath was soft against her ear. Biting, he tugged gently before finding her lips. He was gentle, sweet even, with his younger lover. So much that she mewled quietly with the pleasure he gave.

“Wicked man. Wicked, wicked, wicked man. And an intelligent one, Vladimir. I don’t have to tell you that. You know you are intelligent and you are proud of it. Rarely can anyone get past the cold intelligence that you possess.”

He stared into her eyes, unblinking. “Do you think you have?”

“Only when you have allowed me to. It has served you well over your lifetime. I could challenge you on virtually any topic and you would be able to answer with something appropriate. You could simply say you don’t know and that is an appropriate answer. You aren’t afraid to admit when your knowledge is lacking. It shows the make and measure of the man that you are. It is very much appreciated by me. It’s more than that. That cold intelligence? It frightens people because they cannot get a read on you.”

“You aren’t frightened.”

“You are correct. I am not frightened.”

“Why?”

“Why would the cold frighten me when I have seen the fire beneath your surface?”

He just stared at her for a moment, thinking about what she said.

“You are a brilliant man Vladimir. Hot or cold, you work hard for your country and it shows.” She smiled softly.

“Why do you do this?”

“Do what?”

“This. With me.”

“Why do I see you? Why do I fuck you? Why do I what with you?”

“All of it.”

Aiah sat up. “Why? If you want me to be cold and clinical about why, I most certainly can. In part it is equality. You have seen a dossier on me before. I have moved in circles with people all over the world that have obscene amounts of power. My own father has a great amounts of power that borders on obscene. Power can be easily gained with work and knowledge. Granted, sometimes that knowledge is just knowing the right people.”

She looked thoughtful.

“Or money for that matter. I have moved in those circles from the moment I was born. I have no desire to have power over anything besides my own life. I have no need for money, nor do you. It’s already there. You are rare. With you, I don’t have to pretend to be something I’m not. Because I won’t. No one is worth that amount of trouble.”

Vladimir Putin nodded. He knew what she meant.  “What else?”

“I do not desire someone that I feel is lesser than me. Dealing with a host of insecurities is too much to think about. You and I are on a level field in many ways but in others, you are my superior.”

He arched a brow which she promptly ignored.

“You put a lot of thought into everything you do. While I can be respectful to anyone I wish to, rarely does anyone earn my respect. You have.”

Vladimir considered not only the words but her actions. She was being truthful.

“You are also a rarity in another sense. You don’t bore me. I enjoy our time together. Not just the sex but simply talking and learning about you and how you see your world. You are a fascinating man all around. And……”  The words trailed off.

“And?”

“And there isn’t another man that can make me weep with pleasure like you are able to.”

Putin had been slightly surprised by her words. Aiah could be closed off when she wished to be. If you asked her a direct question she would answer as openly and honestly as she was able. It was because of that conversation that he began to see her more frequently.

Ten years ago he would have sworn that she would not be around for long. Aiah was young and beautiful, she would catch the eye of another man that could give her more than he could. Putin was correct. She caught the eye of many men all around the world and all of them could give her more than he could. She wanted none of them.

Several of the Russian oligarchs asked her out. She politely declined. One of the men, a certain Viktor Tsekhanovetsky offered her an incredibly large sum of money to spend 24 hours with him. She had been so stunned by the offer it took her a moment or two to find her voice.

He wasn’t an unattractive man but she wouldn’t sleep with someone for money. She would later find out that Aleksandr Sokolov spoke often of her skills in bed. A lawyer took care of that small issue.

Still, because of Sokolov, three different Royal Princes of different countries sought the hand of Aiah Corrington. She declined each of them. They bored her.

Finally on a trip to France, Putin asked her why.

“Many reasons Vladimir Vladimirovich.”

“Speak freely, please. I am curious to your reasoning.”

“While I understand that initially people are attracted to those they find physically attractive. None of them wanted anything more than a pretty face and figure to show the world. I am far more than pretty. We have had this discussion before. Pretty is but a fleeting charm. Here one day and gone the next, just like that.”

She snapped her fingers.

“If any one of these men would have shown one iota of consideration for the woman I am? I would have probably at the very least accepted an invitation for something. Every single one of tried to woo me with money, fame, publicity or something similar. A reasonable man, I would think, would cease using tactics that didn’t work. No. Oh you do not wish for a 10 carat diamond well how about a 12?” She shook her head. “I cannot find the words to how boring and inane I find people such as those. Still, there was one that knew. One man knew that didn’t work with me. Only one.”

“Did you not like him?”

“I am sitting across from him right now. I believe that means something.” She took a sip of her coffee.

He hadn’t known what to think when she said that.

Vladimir Putin was careful. It wasn’t just his security, he was careful with every aspect of his life. If the world found out about Aiah, he would survive the fallout. She was a beautiful woman. There wouldn’t be a heterosexual man in the world that would blame him for fucking her. His problem was that he could not understand what she saw in him, outside of money or power. Neither of which, she cared about.

It would be a long while until he mustered up the courage to ask her what she wanted with him. The look in her eyes told Vladimir that the question wounded her to a degree. It was one of the rare times that she looked unsure of herself. He was the one person she could count on that would permit her to be her authentic self. It was the greatest gift she could ever be given.

Unless they were alone, Aiah was always professional. At that point, there was nothing public about her that could be considered risqué. One photo emerged when she was 26 that showed Aiah in a bikini.

That was it in all of their years of knowing one another. Not that there weren’t a few private photos and a video, but none of them had been made public nor did any of them show something that could identify her.

Slowly, he began to see more from her point of view.

At first, he had thought she was naïve or even innocent. As a child, Aiah had played with young princes and princesses in palaces while her parents spoke to some royal or another. She also played in the dirt with newly made friends in some of the poorest parts of the world. She had been neither naïve nor innocent even at just 20 years of age.

She had seen it all. Aiah cast a critical eye over the worst parts of humanity that she had witnessed. She worked hard to help and change the world around her. Aiah kept it silent. Rarely were people permitted to know what happened, why, or even who.

Putin knew. 

While he had people that could find out almost anything, he had no need of them with Aiah. She simply told him. She told him what bothered her in the world and how she would change it. Then she began to make those changes. This had all started when she was still a child. She wanted to change the world, so she did.

There was a well-known rumor that one of the world’s most powerful men sat down at a child’s table and had ‘tea’ with Aiah and her stuffed animals when she was six years old. Supposedly, Nelson Mandela had been charmed by the intelligence of the young Aiah.

That rumor stated the child asked him poignant questions which he had no answer for. She looked up at him with a smile and offered her assistance. She didn’t know either but together they might find the answers.

Whether or not the rumor was true was irrelevant. She had been close to the former president of South Africa until the day that Mandela died. Given there was a good number of photographs of Aiah with Nelson Mandela throughout the years, at least part of the rumor was true. She helped changed the world around her. A reporter asked how she did so much in such a short period of time. A young Aiah looked at the reporter and smiled. Nobody ever told me that I couldn’t change the world, so I changed it.

Looking at the still sleeping woman, Putin held her just a little closer to him.

She was not much more than a child when two planes crashed into the Twin Towers in NYC. Her father was supposed to be at the Pentagon that day. Aiah’s world crumbled around her. She sat in the family’s London home and watched all of it.

It would be almost two days before Aiah and her mother knew that her father was even alive. Tobias Corrington had a meeting the morning of 11 September 2001 at the Pentagon. In the early morning hours, a call went out saying that the meeting had been cancelled. The reason? Someone was in the hospital recovering from an emergency appendectomy. 

Still, the Corrington family lost a great number of people that day.

Vladimir and Aiah spoke virtually every day no matter where in the world they were. How long ago was it? Two or three years ago, he mused. She had flown in for a week to see him. He had sprained his finger. With a bit of devilish humor gleaming in his blue eyes, Putin had asked Aiah to take notes for him in a meeting.

In lightning fast shorthand, she took two sets of notes. One was exactly what was said in the meeting and the other were her ideas. Sitting down with a laptop in his office, Aiah worked steadily before handing him the information he wanted.

“Kitten? What is this?”

“Those are the notes you asked for.”

“No, these other pages.”

“Oh. Answers to some of the problems.”

“You are telling me that you answered the questions yourself?”

“Yes.”

“How?”

“Oh. I have done some translation work for a few different global non-profits on child welfare. Plus that was my thesis was done on when I got my PhD. If they aren’t useful, I apologize. I was only trying to help.”

“Come. Sit with me and let’s talk.”

Her cheeks burned bright with embarrassment. Aiah thought she had made a mistake.  For several hours they put two of her three doctorates to use. The problems were, of course, not solved. Yet, with both of them working together they were able to start a plan of attack.

“I will credit you with this Aiah.”

“No.”

“Aiah….”

“Volodya, please no. It may cause me problems with all the governments I work with. They will want the favors I give to you. And those sort of favors? I believe you know that they are yours and yours alone.”

They became more openly affectionate with each other outside of the bedroom over time but only in private. Even when he realized how deep his love went for Aiah, those feelings were pushed aside. It wasn’t until those feelings broke through in the middle of the night did he even acknowledge them. That night he had to. They had been buried for so long that the sudden realization left him paralyzed.

Often times it was easier for Aiah to come to him due to the security that was needed. The first two years of their relationship there were two other women besides her and countless one night or one week stands. The third year and beyond it was just Aiah and one night stands. Those women were buffers and nothing more.

Having a relationship with her was simple for a man that had anything but a simple life. Aiah never made demands of him. The closest she came to a demand was she simply asked if he would please let her know when he arrived at his destination safely after leaving her.

Putin knew she cared about him. He never doubted her affections at all. When it came to their relationship, all she wanted was for him to be happy in their moments together. He was. He was deliriously happy with his Kitten.

Still, she knew that he had his own life and would never interfere in that.

There were so many times that he wished that he did not love her as he did. Fleeting moments in the night granted him the knowledge that Aiah was far too independent for his more traditional ideals.

Or was she?

Was this all in his head that he shouldn’t want her as he did? Putin feared having someone too close. What he wanted would leave him weak or at the very least vulnerable.

When she was with him, Aiah took care of his needs. Not only in the sexual sense but everything around him as well. She knew his schedule, prepared their meals and everything else. His clothes would be laid out for him with choices of the pocket squares and ties. Aiah made sure he wanted for nothing that she could provide.

It was all in his head. When he tried to think about what their relationship meant in the long run, a visceral pain would blossom inside of him. The laughing, witty, brilliant woman that he longed for when she wasn’t with him? He would never see her grow old with him.

Knowing all this made his heart ache in ways he was unable to verbalize.  

Aiah wouldn’t grow older. No, she would grow wiser. What could he give her? Nothing. If he was lucky? He had 10-12 years of relatively good health left. She would be in her early forties. Would her getting older bother him? The thought made him chuckle. Vladimir knew he would have no other choice but to love his Aiah. She nor his heart would allow for a different choice.

 “Volodya? Why are you awake?” She stretched and kissed his bare chest with a smile.

“Go back to sleep Kitten, it is early yet.”

“You didn’t answer my question.”

Sliding out of the bed, Aiah walked away from him. Bare as the day she was born, she went to brush her teeth. Like him, she enjoyed sports and was very active. That rounded tight arse of hers had just enough of a bounce when she walked that he was mesmerized by it.

Returning, she stalked towards the bed. Aiah certainly was his Kitten. He loved watching her naked. She was comfortable in her own skin. She would rather be naked than clothed just as long as she was warm.   Bending over at the foot of the bed, those pale green eyes sparkled with mischief and desire.

“I couldn’t sleep. My thoughts are coming too fast to sleep.” He admitted.

Long dark tresses slid down her back as she climbed back on to the bed. Flipping the comforter to the side, she knelt beside him.

“What are your thoughts of?”

“Of you. Of us.”

“Is it that bad?”

“No. It is not.” He sat up. “I just worry.”

“About?”

“Not yet, please Kitten.”

“Okay.” She kissed his forehead and got dressed. “You rest. You need it. I will make sure you are awake for breakfast.”

“Aiah…”

“Vladimir. I understand, I swear.” Her smile was sweet. “You rest. I love you.” She turned the lights off before kissing him one more time. Aiah closed the door behind her.

Sighing softly, he did try to sleep and still it wouldn’t come.

After Aiah had met with Lyudmila, two women spoke at least once a week and were having a meal every time that they were in the same country. God bless Lyudmila, she was a good woman. She had put up with a lot from him over their 30 years together. It pleased him that she and Aiah were able to forge a friendship.

When Lyudmila told the girls that she had met Aiah and approved of his choice in a partner, it did not go over well. His daughters were still very angry with him. They were refusing to allow him to see his grandchildren because of it. Their reasoning was that a woman like Aiah would be a bad influence to the children.

Being the President of the Russian Federation was far easier than being a father some days.

Giving up trying to sleep, he went to get ready for the day.

When he came downstairs, his aides were already ready to update him and get to work. Vladimir closed his eyes and gave a sigh. Finally, he told them to wait until after he had a meal. He went on the hunt for his Kitten. He smiled upon seeing her out with the dogs. There wasn’t any snow on the ground but you could taste it in the air. It was coming. Aiah was sitting on the ground, she tossed the balls for the dogs or played tug of war with one of the ropes. Leaning back on her arms, she smiled.

She was happy.

Yume hopped up on Aiah and licked her face. Laughing, she rubbed the Akita’s head with affection. Standing up, she dusted her backside off and whistled for the dogs. Coming back up, she smiled brightly seeing that he was watching.

“Have fun Kitten?”

“Of course. Did you get any rest?”

“I got enough.”

“Okay.” She kissed his cheek. “Let me go wash up. I’ll put breakfast in the oven.”

“Oven? What are we having?”

“Sharlotka. It is already prepped I just need to pop it in the oven.”

The days that they had a tight schedule, she was more than happy to let the staff take care of things. When they didn’t? Aiah liked doing everything herself.

They had a long leisurely breakfast, which was rare for them.

“You look thoughtful.”

She smiled and nodded. “I am. I have something percolating in my mind but I am not quite there yet.”

“Personal or Professional?”

“Professional.”

“Do you need my input?”

“Not yet, I will eventually.”

She started to clean up from their breakfast.

“You know I pay people to do this, yes?”

“Yes. But sometimes I need the satisfaction of doing it myself.”

“I must work Kitten.”

“Then work. I have some to do myself.”

“Aiah?”

“Yes Volodya?”

“I am dealing with a few things that are difficult. Just know that I love you Kitten. Even if I seem distant, know that you are loved by me.”

“I know. I love you as well. Do you wish to talk about this?”

“Not yet, no. I am at a loss right now. Once I find my footing we will talk, I swear to you. Unfortunately, I still have to work.”

“Me too. I have that translation you sent me.” She kissed him once and watched him walk away.

There were always people milling about for some reason or another, even on a Sunday. Still, it was fairly quiet. She left the door opened just enough for the dogs to come in and out, which they did often. Yume was sleeping under Aiah’s desk.

It was two hours later that Aiah’s personal phone rang.

It was Lyudmila calling to apologize. She had not meant to create a riff in their daughters’ relationship with their father. She felt horrible about it and once again apologized. Aiah knew that there was no harm meant and told Lyudmila not to worry. She wasn’t at all upset or angry. The two women were still going to have lunch together soon.

Sighing softly, she leaned back in the chair after hanging up with Lyudmila. Aiah was fairly certain that she knew what was bothering Vladimir. Sending out a quick text to Logan, she wasn’t surprised to get a call less than a minute later.

“Hey sweetpea. You’re up early.” She smiled into the phone.

“What’s shakin’ vegan bacon? Noah is on a health kick so we just got back from the gym.”

“Goof. I’m vegetarian, not vegan.”

“Hey, I need to know if you are bringing the Russian to the wedding. “

“I never even thought about that. Let me check with him.”

“Aiah, he will be specifically invited with you. Since we are doing this at Uncle Joseph’s now the security should be better.”

“Wait, when did it change to Uncle Joseph’s?”

“Noah’s mother won’t fly. She is so terrified of flying that it would be awful and rather than put her through that we are going to Texas instead.”

“This should be interesting.”

“Girl! You are telling me. Noah’s Dad won’t be there. Thankfully. You know none of Noah’s family has spoken to Jake since The Incident. Although, some of them are afraid to meet you.”

“I’m glad to hear that. Afraid of me? Because of Jake?”

“Babygirl, you put the fear of god into Jake. This was a man that that made rattlers quake in fear. You’re just a little thing compared to Jake. Nobody has forgotten The Incident. Plus if you have the Russian with you? Luckily since it is at Uncle Joseph’s there is protection.” Logan laughed.   

The Incident. It was always spoken about in a hushed tone and you could hear the capital letters used for the two words.

Jake Durham was one of the adults that dared to mess with her cousin and he had been sorry ever since.

Noah and Logan had first started dating while they were students at the University of Texas Austin. Neither young man had a whole heck of a lot of experience and so didn’t tell their families about one another at first. The exception was Aiah. She found out after the first date.

The pair was secretive at first because, Texas. After six months of dating exclusively, Logan brought Noah to a family get together during spring break. The Corrington-Walker combined families fell in love with the handsome and sweet Noah. He fit right in with Aiah’s and Logan’s tight bond.

Two days later they would be meeting Noah’s family. By pure coincidence the Durham family only lived about 15 minutes away from Aiah’s parents.

Aiah was 21 and was spending a week in Texas before flying out to work again. Her mom and dad were out looking at one of the new foals that had dropped earlier in the day. In a state of panic, Logan called his Uncle Tobias.

It was Aiah that answered the call. When Logan had gone to pick Noah up and meet his family. Instead of pleasantries like he expected, Logan had come out to find a horribly beaten and unconscious Mrs. Durham on the front porch. It was then that he heard the screams.

A drunken Jake Durham was beating his son with a heavy braided leather lead rope out by the barn. Shoving Durham down, Logan half carried and half dragged Noah to his Jeep. Then he realized that he had dropped his keys.

Noah’s father took a muck fork and was using it to attack the Jeep. He ended up stabbing both boys a number of times but thankfully they wouldn’t need much more than tetanus shots.  

The 15 minute drive was made in less than ten minutes with an infuriated cousin behind the wheel. On the way over to the Durham’s home she called 911.

The minute she hit the gravel she saw Noah and Logan. Aiah swung the truck around hard and showered Jake with a spray of gravel. Jumping out of Tobias’ truck, Aiah was armed with nothing more than a baseball bat. She swung so hard at the backs of Jake Durham’s thighs that the bat broke.

And so did both of Jake’s femurs.

Grabbing one of the large splinters from the bat Aiah shoved it under Jake’s chin hard enough she drew blood. He was already going into shock but her saw the look in her eyes. More than that, he heard the words spoken.

Aiah’s voice was like frozen steel when she told him exactly what she would do to him if he ever came near that farm or his family again. She would make the Texas Killing Fields look genteel. Still wearing her boots, she punted him between the legs so hard that she broke his pelvis.

When the cops arrived a few minutes later, it was quickly understood that Aiah had only tried to protect herself, Noah and Logan. To take a look at her versus the very large Jake Durham, most people would think she was the one in danger.  It also helped that she was Tobias’ daughter and Joseph Bryce’s goddaughter.

“You ever tell your boyfriend about The Incident?”

“No. God no. You know how much I hate violence but sometimes it is necessary.”

“Given you barfed for 15 minutes in front of those hot Montgomery County Sheriff deputies? I know.”

“Don’t remind me.”

“I still think the tall one would have taken you down to Midnight Rodeo or something.” Midnight Rodeo was a bar.

“Yes, because my English arse would just love to go there.”

“Girl puleeeze. Just because you talk pretty doesn’t make you any less of a shit kicker than the rest of us. How does that song go? I can ride, rope, hammer, and paint. Do things with my hands most men cain’t.”

“It’s Brooks and Dunn.”

“What was it that Uncle Bubba called you?”

“A dollar and a dime’s worth of crumpets and crazy.” She laughed. “I forgot about that.”

Noah’s ‘Uncle Bubba’ loathed Jake after what he had done. Bubba was the nickname of Robert Durham, the oldest brother of Jake Durham. He was an old gay leatherman that lived down around the Montrose area of Houston. He and Aiah met shortly after The Incident. It was said as a joke about Aiah was only 110 lbs and a lady most of the time but she was the reason people said Don’t Mess with Texas.  

“At the rehearsal dinner? I am so regaling your boyfriend with tales of our misspent youth. Ha! I know just the tale. Remember when I first got to Germany to work?”

“Oh god.” She started to laugh. “Thank you Logan. I needed this.”

“Are you sure you are okay?”

“Yes, just busy.”

 “I have to run. I love you Aiah.”

“I love you too Logan. Tell your fiancée to call me please? I need to plan out a few things.”

“Can do love.”

 “Later babers.” She smiled.

“Taaaaa!”

Aiah looked the opposite of a professional anything at the moment. She was dressed in boots, jeans, and a jumper. And dog hair. She picked a couple of Yume’s hairs off of her arm. Because of that, she debated going to his office. Shutting down her computers, she decided to walk past. If the door was closed, she would go back upstairs. If not, she would check.

He was standing in the hallway outside of his office when Aiah turned the corner.

“Aiah, if you wouldn’t mind stepping into my office? I need a word with you.”

“Of course Sir.”

She remained standing while she waited. It would have been expected of most anyone else. It wasn’t until she heard the lock slide into place did she allow herself to relax.

“Kitten, is something bothering you?”

“No Volodya, I am just a bit tired.”

“What did you find out on that task?”

“I am unable to translate it by hand. No, that’s not true. Allow me to rephrase that please. I am unable to translate what you gave me at any reasonable rate. The code used is so simple in theory. I know what they did and how they did it. My suggestion is to have someone write a short program and let the program itemize everything.

As for the cryptology behind what you sent me? It is simple and complicated at the same time. They took the Cyrillic alphabet and added in certain Latin alphabet letters. Specifically, they added in A, E, K, M, O, and T because the letters look the same or similar to Cyrillic ones. So each time the same letters are used between Cyrillic and Latin they will need to be looked at with a discerning eye and factor in that a mistake could be made.”

“What do you mean?”

Aiah’s brow creased as she thought of a way explain. “So let’s say you have ‘нос’. It seems like ‘hoc’ to someone that is more used to Latin versus Cyrillic. It would be opposite for someone that is more used to Cyrillic.”

“What of you?”

“I don’t know. I would have to see the original instead of what you gave me to use. It is made even more complicated by that there are added letters that are now defunct as well. There are several different types of the letter O that I have seen used on what I read through. As far as I know those letters were last in use during Ivan Fyodorov’s time. There are others that go back to 1100. Unfortunately, I couldn’t do more with older ones because my knowledge doesn’t go back that far. So they take all of this and then they scrambled the words from 50 languages.”

“How long did this take you to unravel?”

“My apologies, I wasn’t paying attention to the time. I can tell you it was less than two hours.”

“Thank you Aiah. Would you excuse me for a little while? I have to take care of something you cannot be in the room for.”

“Of course.” She stood and went to leave.

“Kitten.”

“Yes?” She turned.

“If you think you are walking out of this room without giving me a kiss first you are mistaken.” His voice was soft.

“My apologies Vladimir Vladimirovich.”

Walking over, she dipped down and leaned in to give him a kiss. She paused and looked into his eyes. A smile curved her lips upwards before she kissed him. When she went to pull away, his hand gripped her shoulder and Vladimir kissed her again.

“I love you Kitten. I will see you shortly.”

“I love you too Volodya.”

Putin waited until she closed the door behind her before placing a call. He knew Aiah was a brilliant woman but how she was able to figure out something in less than two hours when some of the top cryptologists in the world hadn’t been able to solve the code in ten days made him furious.

It was only a little over an hour when he walked back upstairs into the residence. Upon hearing music coming from the television room, he walked in. Aiah was sound asleep with Claire de Lune playing in the background. He had to chuckle. Buffy was acting as a pillow and Pasha was her blanket. Yume laid to the front of her with Verni at Aiah’s back. Seeing their master, the dogs shifted but didn’t move. The shifting was just enough to wake up her up.

 “Comfortable Kitten?”

“I look quite ridiculous don’t I?”

“No, not at all.” He chuckled.

Finally untangling herself from the dogs, she stood up. “Do you have a few minutes Volodya?”

“For you? Always. I do have somewhere I wish to take you today.”

“Let me clean up some or at least get the dog hair off of me.”

They spoke while she changed into something not covered in dog hair.

“Oh, Logan asked if you were going to be at the wedding with me.”

“You are inviting me to a wedding?” He looked amused. 

“Actually, I’m not. Logan is. The invite will be marked to both of us.”

“Berlin?” While Vladimir said nothing about the wedding invitation, it was important. Her closest family member to Aiah was accepting of their relationship.

“No. Texas. They will be having the wedding at President Bryce’s ranch. He is also Logan’s godfather. It should make it easier on you with security as well.”

“My Kitten thinks of everything.” He pulled her close to look into her eyes. “When the date is set, if you would please send it to the personal calendar and to Andrei.”

“Of course.”

“Are you ready?”

“In more ways than one.” She wiggled her brows at him.

He slapped her rear playfully.

Putin drove, which was rare for Aiah. For most of their relationship they were not often in a vehicle together. The security surrounding them was still extremely high but it was a nice change.

“What are you thinking about?”

“I just realized that when I am thinking to myself that I no longer do it in English.” Aiah was surprised. “My thoughts are in Russian.”

“I had that happen to me in Germany.”

“Oh. Germany. So, there are a few tall tales Logan specifically wants to tell you.”

“Oh?”

“So I was visiting Germany because Logan was doing a year German program in Berlin for his master’s degree. We had gone to a local biergarten and were having a beer with dinner. A man is attempting to chat me up. It’s not going well for him at all.”

“Didn’t find him attractive Kitten?”

“No, he was quite a handsome man but he was pretending to be Russian. His accent was terrible. But Logan was being Logan and told me to play along. The man tells us he was KGB and was now FSB.”

“Oh, I remember this. He said he was the head of my security detail.”

 “Exactly. Which is why I said something Vasili immediately because in case this man was playing a dangerous game. The part that you didn’t hear about because we kept getting interrupted. I fell to this man’s feet sobbing and wailing telling him don’t let you know where I am I start begging him and pleading with him for my life. I would do anything whatsoever he wanted just as long as Vladimir Vladimirovich didn’t get his hands on me again. I wouldn’t survive. I do all of this in Russian, of course. Which the man did not actually speak, I nearly made Vasili wet himself from laughter. However, Logan is a better storyteller than I will ever be. His version is much better.” 

 “So you scared an old man half to death because of me?”

“Well yes!”

“That’s my Aiah.” He smiled and laughed. “What are you wanting to do for Christmas?”

“I haven’t even thought that far in advance.”

“Are you planning to stay here?”

“Yes. Assuming that is alright with you.”

“Yes. It is very much alright with me.” He parked the car in an alley. “We will go in this way.”

“Hm. Leave it to you to go in the backdoor.”

“I do have a fondness for that lovely tight arse you possess.” He stroked his chin with a smile. “Think about that Kitten. While we are here, think about me fucking your arse. Think of how you would beg me.”

“You are cruel.” Her smile was one of delight.

“Perhaps you will be rewarded when we return home.” He grinned at her.

Of all the places he could have taken her in Moscow, Putin chose the dustiest hole in the wall he knew of. The used bookstore was owned by an old colleague from East Germany. The moment Aiah stepped inside she lit up.

Aiah was permitted to roam free in the small cramped space.

“Girlfriend?” Karl Chopov asked his old friend and colleague.

Putin didn’t answer the question directly. Instead, he pretended to scoff at the idea. “She works for me translating and interpreting. She worked for me on a special project today so I decided to reward her. Poor thing never gets a break.”

“Poor thing?” Chopov laughed. “It’s your doing that she doesn’t get a break Volodka!”

“Guilty as charged.”

“She is a pretty thing but there is much more to her isn’t there.” Chopov’s question was rhetorical.

Finally Aiah returned to the front of the store. She was loaded down with books but the smile on her face was simply beautiful.

“You find what you were looking for?”

“Yes Sir.” She smiled to Chopov. “Thank you very much Vladimir Vladimirovich. This bookstore is wonderful!”

“Allow me to introduce you to Karl Chopov. He is an old colleague of mine. He was kind enough to stay late so that I might bring you here.”

“It’s a pleasure to meet you Sir.” She offered a hand. “Thank you very much for staying open. Your shop is fantastic! I could stay here all day.”

Shaking her hand warmly, Chopov smiled. “You are from up around Peter I take it.”

“Uhm. No. Not exactly.” She smiled sheepishly.

“Aiah Tobiasonova is from London.” Putin had an impish twinkle in his eye.

“I was born in London but my parents were in the military so I grew up everywhere.”

“I would never have guessed you weren’t Russian. Ethnically? You haven’t read the Master and the Margarita?” Chopov was surprised at some of her selections.

Aiah shook her head. “If I was any more English I think that I wouldn’t be allowed in the country. I have read it several times in several languages as well. That is for my cousin’s fiancée who has been learning Russian for about 18 months now.”

“Day of the Oprichnik?”

“That is for my own library. I only have a digital copy.”

The two men were both KGB back in the day. They were having fun teasing the younger woman.  One of the security men distracted Putin for just a second. Chopov smiled when Aiah slipped him a book privately. The tome looked almost new but it was nearly 100 years old. It was a book of poetry written by Marina Tsvetaeva.

Chopov wouldn’t permit either Putin or Aiah to pay for the books.  It was a lovely way to spend a couple of hours. The books would be taken to another location and checked before returned to Aiah, it was just a simple precautionary measure.

Returning to the residence, he didn’t drive. They sat together in the backseat.

“Vova? May I return and see Chopov again?”

“You enjoyed yourself?”

“Yes, very much so. Thank you. That was wonderful.”

“I’m glad you enjoyed yourself. Yes, you may return with Vasili or whomever he appoints.” He kissed her temple. “You and I need to talk when we return.”

“About your daughters?”

He pulled back to look at her better, startled. “How did you know?”

“Lyudmila called earlier, apologizing.”

“Aiah…..”

“Vladimir, I understand. They love their mother and feel protective. I can stay in a hotel for a few days or I can go visit some friends in London or even my cousin in Berlin.”

“Aiah, no. This is where we live. I am not having you leave.”

It would be two weeks later that his daughters came for dinner. Aiah didn’t join them. She had gotten a lucrative project and was in her office working while the girls were there.

Reaching for her coffee cup, Aiah took a sip only to realize that the cup was empty.  Getting up, she went to refill it. Wincing, she heard part of the argument. There were pauses, Vladimir rarely raised his voice in anger and she knew that was what the pauses were from.

Walking back to her office, Aiah sat down only to notice that one of the dogs was under her desk. “Okay silly, come out.”

Except it wasn’t one of the dogs. It was a little boy.

“Hi. Who are you?” Aiah had seen plenty of photos of Vladimir’s oldest grandson and knew it was him.

He didn’t answer nor move.

She sat down on the floor with the child, but gave him enough room. “My name’s Aiah. What’s your name?”

When he didn’t answer, she started in on telling him stories. It took a half hour but Vladimir’s grandson finally crawled at and sat with her. They played, jumped, bounced and finally an hour after finding him under her desk they went to find his mother and grandfather.

The raised voices frightened him. Aiah picked him up in her arms and made sure he knew he was protected before walking into the dining room.

“Enough. This has gone past the point of ridiculousness.” Her voice was firm but soft.

“What are you doing with my child?!”

“Vladimir would you take Nikolai and go to the other room please? I would like to speak to your daughters for just a moment.” She spoke softly and respectfully.

“Aiah…..”

“Please?”

Worry was written on his face. He knew she had a temper but Aiah had earned his trust years ago.

Aiah watched grandfather and grandson leave before turning sharply to face the girls. “What was I doing? Helping soothe his fears. He ran off to my office an hour ago. That’s right. Missing for an hour and yet no one noticed. I grew up the same way your son is now.” Aiah’s stare was precise and direct.

“I had parents in the political spotlight and they still are in the spotlight. You can either make this difficult or you can take care to see that a child’s fears never come true. Today, you both were so intent on being angry at your father and me you permitted a child to be afraid in a place that he should know nothing but love.

I understand your anger with me. I don’t blame you for being angry. What I did to your mother was wrong and unconscionable. Thankfully, your mother is a kind woman and has forgiven me. I do hope you both will forgive me, eventually. If you cannot, I understand that too.”

When the eldest of Vladimir’s children started to speak, Aiah held up her hand.

“I’m not finished. Be angry at me. Be angry at your father. All I ask of you both is don’t punish the children for the mistakes that your father and I made. Your children deserve to know their grandfather. He loves you and he loves his grandchildren. If you do not want me interacting with you or the children, then I will make sure that I am not here. That is the best I can do. If you have a problem with me? Come to me. We are all adults and we all need to act like adults.”

Aiah placed two business cards down on the table. “Those are my numbers and my email. If you need to talk to me, reach out.”

The sisters said nothing. With a nod, Aiah walked away. She took what would have been the old servant’s staircase back upstairs. By taking that staircase, she managed to avoid everyone. Feeling weary, she took a very long and very hot shower.

Under the hot needle like spray, Aiah allowed herself to cry silently. She was not the same woman she had been at 20. Yet, the mistakes that were made were still her own. It was a strange mixture. Regretting the role she played in causing pain in others, she was still a woman in love. The likelihood that she would end up being in the same predicament herself didn’t change her love for him.

Stepping out of the shower, Aiah went through the same routine she did every night. It didn’t matter where in the world she was, it was always the same. The almost ritualistic moments of solitude were comforting in ways she had not realized before.

Walking back into the shared bedroom, Aiah was startled. She didn’t know he was there. “Volodya, what are you doing?”

“Watching you.”

“Why?”

Seated upon the small bench at the end of the bed, he watched her come closer. Aiah dropped carefully down to the rug and sat. With her head resting on his thigh, she said nothing.  He stroked her cheek tenderly which drew her eyes upwards.

Her expression changed as she looked upon him. There was something that drew her brows together. Her lips parted as if she wished to say something but not a sound left her lips.  Out of concern, he pulled her into his arms. He was just about to say something when Aiah kissed him.

Vladimir was frightened by the kiss.

He felt a tangle of emotions when her lips touched his. There was fear and sadness on her lush mouth but they weren’t alone. He could taste the passion and love from her as well. The primal desire that had lit her soul on fire for over a decade collided with his own need for his lover.

Lover? She had ceased just being his lover years ago and became his love. Pulling her closer to him he wanted to find the words to tell her. Except the words wouldn’t come. The words he knew were insufficient for what he wanted to convey to Aiah.

It wasn’t her body or her beauty that he craved. No, he knew better than that. It was her wise and gentle heart. It was her mind that he had fallen so in love with. Flaws, they both had them. Every human is flawed but the one in his arms? He loved her flaws. Vladimir knew she loved his the same way.

Closing her eyes, tears spilled down her lovely face. Soft lips brushed his and whispered her love to him without needing to say an actual word. Vladimir marveled at her touch. Cradling his head and face gently, Aiah mouthed the words. I love you and you alone.

“Why the tears my Aiah?”

“I love you. I…..” She couldn’t finish right away. “The enormity of how much I love you. I didn’t know it could ever be like this. I had no idea. Volodya, I’m afraid.”

“I am too my sweet. Tell me, what is it that you fear?”

“It’s not just me any longer and it hasn’t been for so long. What if I hurt you? What if I make you unhappy? There is no way I could possibly stand it.”

He moved to the bed and pulled her on top of him. Vladimir wrapped Aiah up in his arms while shedding his clothing. He needed to feel her against him, fully. Her skin was warm against his own. Her slight weight felt better than anything ever had.  He understood so well how she felt. The thought of hurting her? He would rather die the most painful of deaths.

For all the years that he had loved her, never once did he allow himself to feel the entirety of how much he did. It frightened him the same way it frightened her. He understood he loved Aiah more than he ever realized.  

Oh the cruel trickeries of God. He had needed her for a lifetime but she came so late in life. Once upon a time he would have cursed God for the injustice of it all. Now? Instead of being bitter, he rejoiced. Vladimir realized what a gift he had been given. Most people never were given something so wondrous.

His hands cupped around her arse in order to pull her closer. Aiah’s skin was soft and smooth. Strong hands slowly stroked over her and he was certain that nothing ever felt as good as she did in his arms. Feeling her arousal, Vladimir smiled.

What greater compliment could there be than the woman you coveted for what seems like a lifetime aching for you in a similar fashion? Thick lashes hid her gaze from him but she smiled all the same. How was it that she was even more beautiful now than before? The dawning realization of what he was witnessing made Vladimir’s smile broaden. Aiah was a woman in love. Not only was she in love she was allowed to show her love.

“I love you Volodya.” Her voice was a sweet whisper.

“Aiah, my Aiah. I love you.”

Smooth forehead rested upon his chest. He watched the tremor as it moved down her spine. A single kiss was placed upon his sternum. He took Aiah’s hand in his when her tears splashed hotly upon his skin.

Those tears did not tell tales of sorrow or pain. His hand felt overly large when he cupped her cheek but the beauty of the woman he held was something magnificent. Pale green eyes flickered with happiness and a smile curved a sensuous mouth upwards.

Taking care to touch and stroke each part of him, she slowly moved down his body. It was only when Aiah knelt at the bottom of the bed did he realize what she was doing. With reverence, full lips touched the tops of his feet. So stunned by the gesture, all he could do was watch the woman he loved.

“Come back up here Kitten.” He held a hand out to her.

Doing as asked, she slid back up to him. Cat green eyes captured his blue gaze and she saw him in ways that no person ever did before. Aiah kissed the soft swell of his lower lip. Her words told him she loved him but it was the gentle touch that worshiped his flesh that showed him.

They lost themselves in each other for the first time again. Yes, again. Everything had changed between them because of a single word. Love. What they started with over eleven years before was nothing compared to what they found now just by looking into each other’s hearts.

They began anew.

“What do you want Aiah?”

“I don’t have to want. I have exactly what I want here with me. I have you.”

“You are mine Aiah, wholly and completely mine.” When he kissed her, Vladimir shared with her the all-consuming love he felt. The kiss was powerful, fiery and as intense as the words that were spoken just seconds before. “And I am yours. I am utterly and completely yours.”

The words were quiet, almost a whisper. When he kissed her that time? He conveyed his love with the ardor in his heart and soul.

They consummated their newly recognized love for the first time after they gave words to the crippling fear they both had. Vladimir and Aiah became as one. It wasn’t just the physical joining of sex. It surpassed the physical and transcended into their merging of their hearts on a completely different plane of existence.

Hours later, they laid contently joined in yet a different way. Aiah’s cheek was against his chest while Vladimir entwined his fingers with her own. They fell asleep together hearts and hands still joined

They woke about mid-morning the following day, still held to one another.

A fingertip brushed under her chin so that he may kiss her good morning, which he did. Looking into her bright eyes, Vladimir kissed her again. “You are afraid still.” His brow creased. “You have no need to be Aiah, I promise this.”

“I am unable to stop the fear Volodya. You are the only man I have ever loved in a non-platonic way.”

“Does this bother you?”

“No. Not at all. Of course I would be the one to fall in love with a cruel and utterly heartless dictator.”

He laughed. “I think you forgot corrupt and despotic.”

“I am going to have to start keeping a list.”

“Is there something else?”

“I need to sit down and look at my schedule.”

“Do you have something already planned?”

“Besides the contract with you, no. I cleared everything out until January because of what happened. Luckily I knew enough people to funnel the contracts off to. I have a few items to translate into different languages but that all can be done anywhere I have my laptop.”

“So what else Kitten?”

“I need to return to London.” She saw his eyes had narrowed down. “Volodya, I just have to pick up a few items that I need to have with me. I was going to ask if you could accompany me or if you were planning a trip somewhere closer.”

“My apologies Aiah, not only did I react poorly I didn’t permit you to finish. I must work today so many we speak of this later? Do you have things you need to do?”

“I need to do a bit of shopping. My wardrobe is lacking even after that four hour shopping trip with my mother.”

“You have a few things you left here over the last few years, including those very pretty panties you dropped on to my lap.”

Aiah laughed and laughed hard. “I forgot you had them.”

“I might let you borrow them as long as you give them back to me.”

“Volodya!”

He started to laugh. “Your panties are the most decadent piece of silk I have ever seen. Knowing you soaked through them and they were still wet when you arrived? You are lucky I don’t have them framed and hung up in my office. My Aiah I have never been given something so valuable.” He made a quick call to schedule Vasili to take her shopping. “Am I allowed to give you presents now?”

“If it is like the necklace, yes. Vladimir, please go slow there. I am learning.”

“I will Kitten.” He kissed her forehead. “Since you are willing to sign the contract, what do you wish to do?”

“The money? Donate it all for children. I don’t need it. I do, however, need a few things added for my own well-being.”

“Will you stay with me here?”

“That I don’t know. I haven’t lived with another person since I was 16 and those were my parents. That terrifies me. Besides I am horrible before coffee.”

He kissed her soft lips. “I want to openly admit that I have a woman that I love.”

“You are trying to give me a heart attack aren’t you?”

“No. I love your willing and willful heart far too much to do harm to it.”

“Careful there Vladimir Vladimirovich! I think that is something that probably needs to be discussed with my father because of the political nuances.”

“Aiah, I spoke to your father already.”

“What?” To say she was surprised would be a gross understatement.

“I needed to speak to Bryce on an unrelated manner. Your father was still here. I spoke to both of them in regards to us. While I believe that neither are pleased about us seeing each other, they were unconcerned politically. Bryce’s term is up. According to your father the polls show a Republican will win the election.”

“Vova, this will hurt you politically. I am not Russian.”

“Permit me to worry about that, please? I have hidden you for so long. I do not wish to hide you any longer.”

She nodded. “As long as you will remain safe, I will not argue.”

He patted her bare thigh. “We need to get dressed. “

She borrowed a jumper from him. Aiah was dressed casually. Heeled booties, jeans, and his black cashmere turtleneck jumper.  A touch of makeup and her hair was pulled back. She walked downstairs and found him in the dining room.

“You need to wear my clothing more often.”

“Oh?”

“Yes. You look beautiful in that turtleneck.”

“You just like it because you like watching my breasts.”

“Of course. I am a man after all.” He handed Aiah a cup of fresh coffee. “You look tired Kitten.”

“Thank you.” She took a sip. “I’m still a bit tired.” She admitted.

“Do you wish to stay here? I could arrange for you to have things brought to you.”

“It’s easier this way. Not to worry, I will return and take a nap if I need to.”

“Only if you are sure. Dima will be here later today.”

“I haven’t seen him in a while.”

The shopping trip wasn’t supposed to be as long as it was. Aiah started to grab the bags to carry them inside. Vasili would not allow for that to happen and scolded her like a mother hen until she gave up and walked into the vast home.

Upon walking in, Aiah was immediately greeted by the major domo.

 “Ivan, do you know where Vladimir Vladimirovich is and if I am allowed in?”

“Billiard room ma’am. Your presence was requested when you returned.”

“Thank you Ivan.”

When Aiah walked into the room, both men stood up to greet her. There was a fire going with all four dogs asleep in the center of the room. It appeared that the men had finished a game of billiards and now were relaxing.

Vladimir smiled seeing Aiah walk in and stepped towards her. “Did you find everything you needed?”

“Yes. Thank you.” She smiled. “What have you two been doing?”

“Playing a few games of pool, talking, just a nice quiet afternoon.”

“That sounds good. Dmitry Anatolyevich, a pleasure to see you once again.”

“It is a pleasure to see you as well. Vladimir? Is she always this proper? I don’t believe I have heard Ms. Corrington call anyone by their name.” He was referring to how Aiah kept her distance from most people by her formal address of names.

“I have started introducing her Aiah Tobiasovna.”

“Aiah Tobiasovna? Yes. I approve of this.” Medvedev teased her.

She chuckled and shook her head. “You are both silly.”

“Silly? You call the President of the largest country in the world and his Prime Minister silly?”

“Yes. Yes I do.”

“Aiah Tobiasovna, would you be willing to use a less formal address with me? You already call my wife Svenka.”

“Yes, I am willing as long as it is not part of my work. I will always be formal there.”

“Thank you Aiah.”

“See, making friends already.” Putin grinned just a touch impishly. 

“Gentlemen, if you would please both excuse me. I have a few things to take care of. And I need to go practice.”

“Practice?” Putin knew that with Aiah that could be anything under the sun.

“My yoga routine Vova. Dr. Plinov finally released me fully.”

“I didn’t know you practiced yoga Aiah.” Medvedev spoke.

“Oh yes. I have since my teens.”

“Are you good?”

“Very.” Aiah smiled.

Medvedev laughed. “And you are quite sure of yourself.”

“Always.”

After Medvedev left, Putin went down to watch Aiah.

He stayed out of her line of vision so he didn’t intrude. She used yoga to help master her body and her mind. Putin enjoyed watching her practice. Aiah was extremely precise in what she did.

He couldn’t help but smile. While she was well muscled and strong, there was a softness to her slender figure. She was not built with harsh angles like some women with high levels of fitness. No, she was very much a woman.

Putin enjoyed taking her to the mats to spar. Aiah could give as good as she got. It took him a few years to realize something. Much of what she did to hone her body was for her own safety.  He knew her height was approximately the same as his, 5’7. He had seen her weight when she stepped on a scale at her home once. She weighed only about 118 lbs. or 54 kg.

One night they were eating a light supper after spending a couple of hours on the mats. He remembered that day, vividly. There was a charity martial arts event that was being held in Moscow several months out. Aiah was just about to take a bite of her salad when he asked her to help put on a show and explained what he was thinking.

The fork slid out of her hand and landed against the plate with a loud clatter. 

Something had happened to Aiah that he had no knowledge of. Green eyes were colored with anger one moment and then disgust the next. It was just in the blink of an eye that he saw such emotions and the next second it was gone.

Aiah politely declined.

He had asked about it but she responded politely again that she would rather not talk about it at the current time. He let it go for a while. It would be a solid month later when he found out why.

It would not be from Aiah that he would find out either.

There had been an international fencing tournament in Los Angeles right after Aiah’s 16th birthday. This would be the last event for her until the Summer Olympics. She had taken first place in the individual events and was now taking a couple of days of vacation with her parents while in LA.

A man came into the hotel gym when Aiah was finishing up her workout. She recognized him immediately. He was a mostly former actor that had several sexual assault allegations against him. When he tried to chat her up, Aiah promptly ignored the man and left.

He followed her to the elevators and got in. Once more he tried to chat her up and was not given a response. He kept offering to have a drink with her. She was pretty enough to be a movie star, he said. And he could help her. They were starting to cast his next movie. She would be perfect according to him.

Slowly the people on the elevator got off on their floors and it was just the two of them. All she had to do was make it up two more floors and she would be safe. Unfortunately, when the elevator was clear of other people he had grabbed Aiah by the biceps and shook her.

“Why won’t you answer me you fucking cunt?!”

She broke away from his grasp but there was nowhere to go in the elevator. He hauled her back to him with a quick move.  Aiah, while already a black belt in Judo, knew she couldn’t get away from him in such a tight space. He weighed at least 200 pounds more than she. A quick estimation of him also put the man at a good 8-10 inches taller.

Unsure of if he was actually skilled in martial arts or if it was an act for the screen, Aiah knew she had to do something. Anything.

Quickly the elevator was stopped by him. The man pinned her against the faux paneling with his forearm braced across her throat. When she felt her shorts being tugged down and his zipper being opened she fought back immediately.

Her index finger and thumb shot up hard and into the man’s nostrils. She pinched as hard as she could at his septum and kicked the buttons twice in an attempt to turn the elevator car back on. A quick strike caught the man off guard. When the door opened, she bolted out of the elevator screaming at the top of her lungs.

A young US Army officer was staying at the hotel for his wedding the next day and heard the screams. He came running out as fast as he could.  The lieutenant tackled the actor. Aiah’s screams also alerted her parents. The former actor was lucky to be alive. Tobias Corrington wanted to kill the man that dared to touch his daughter.  

The police traumatized the scared teenager further when they bombarded her with questions.

The police told Aiah she was a pretty girl but she needed to wear more clothing before something REALLY bad would happen. The man was willing to make her a star after all.  While all the elevators had cameras, somehow the footage of what happened to her was missing. He got away with it.

It would be a decade later before Aiah saw the man again.

Medvedev was doing an interview with a young lady that wished to be a journalist. Anastasiya Savina was deaf. Aiah was working with Vladimir that day but the interview would be four hours before she would be needed. Competent in 4 types of sign language, British, American, Russian and German, Aiah was happy to help.

Dmitry Medvedev and Aiah Corrington walked into a room where the interview would be held, they were discussing everything that needed to happen so the young lady would be able to get the interview done. Nothing was going to be recorded other than visually, except by the Kremlin. The small number of journalists there were being allowed to film but there would be no audio. Subtitles would be added before it was released. Medvedev wanted to showcase how people with disabilities could work with people without disabilities in harmony.

Aiah looked, as always, professional. Since Putin would be seated, she was wearing heels.

Abruptly she stopped, surprised. “Vladimir Vladimirovich, my apologies. I did not know the room was in use. If you would excuse us please?”  Medvedev was already walking out the door.  Aiah knew something was up. This should have never have happened. Something should have stopped this or someone.

“Aiah, it is good to see you. I wasn’t expecting you for another….” He glanced at his watch. “….several hours.”

“My apologies Vladimir Vladimirovich. I truly did not mean to interrupt.”

“Do you remember our conversation about a month ago? We were eating and you dropped your fork.”

What the fuck was he playing at? Aiah kept her face neutral and refused to look at the elephant in the room. “Yes, I do.”

“Oddly, I am very rarely refused information. You however did refuse me.”

She said nothing.

“It doesn’t matter. Aiah. You see the person sitting next to me? He saw you walking down a hall when he arrived. He asked me, Vladimir Vladimirovich was that Aiah Corrington I saw? Of course I tell him yes and asked if he knew you. He told me every sordid detail of what he almost did and wanted to do to you. As a matter of fact, he even says to me that he would have gotten you into films if you would have let him, help himself. I believe he told the police this as well.” Putin’s voice was like ice.

Aiah noticed that there were more people in the room now.

“Vasili, would you get Aiah a chair please? Come sit with me Kitten, if you would?”

She still didn’t know what was going on but she trusted Vladimir. Taking a seat, she looked to Putin with a bit of confusion. Fear struck her heart. It was the secret that Vasili and Kolya had known for years.

“Aiah, when you didn’t want to say anything, I respected that. I was, however, concerned. I had some men do a bit of looking and found out what happened. This idiot confirmed what I knew.”

The man started to raise a ruckus about being falsely accused and whatnot. Putin gave the has-been a look and within seconds the man was unconscious. Vasili had cracked the man at the base of his skull with something. A man that made millions and assaulted women for 20 years was not going to get away with it any longer.

“Aiah, it wasn’t just you. He attempted to hurt and did hurt a good number of women in the United States. I am unable to do anything about that. America is not Russia after all. When I found it he did it here? Well, now he will be punished as he should have been when he tried to hurt you.”

 “Thank you. Thank you Volodya.” Her voice was barely audible.

“Of course. I told you, you are always safe with me.” He kissed the top of her head. “Mikhail? Get this bag of shite out of here.”

Putin had told her that the video was found. Alas, the statute of limitations for her incident ten years ago was up. Since the man was now a citizen of Russia, he would be punished for what he did in Russia. He would not be extradited to the US.

That night, they were at her flat in Moscow. She wouldn’t let him see her cry but he could tell she had been crying before he arrived. He almost told her he loved her then. Watching her do a short cooldown now, he wished he had told her that he loved her then. Perhaps if he had, things would not be so complicated currently.

When Aiah saw him she smiled and walked over. “Enjoying watching?”

“Yes. Very much so.” He smiled. “Sit and relax with me?”

“I should shower first. I am rather sweaty still.”

“You think I haven’t been covered in your sweat before?”

Aiah laughed. “True, but usually we are both naked when that happens. And now? We are both wearing clothing.”

Smacking her on the arse lightly, Putin lifted a brow. “I have seen bathing suits made of more material than these so called shorts of yours.”

“Tomorrow, I will start dressing like a nun.”

“No. Go bathe. I will get the contract for you to sign now all the changes have been made. And then we can both relax. There is something on the bed for you Kitten. No peeking until you are finished in the bath.”

This time it was Aiah that arched an eyebrow.

“This is more of a present for me than you.” He chuckled.

“I rather like the sound of that.”

After doing all the necessary things while bathing, Aiah walked out of the bathroom. Although his home was warm, she hated having wet hair when the weather turned cold. She took the time to dry it. There was a prettily wrapped box on the bed. Reading the card, she laughed.

To: Volodya

From: Vladimir

This is all for you my handsome friend.  

It was even signed with a heart. Shaking her head, Aiah couldn’t stop laughing. Opening the box carefully, there was another card on top of the tissue wrapped item inside.

Made you laugh, didn’t I Kitten?

I did think of you when I saw this. I know that you do not like presents so I bought it for myself. You just have to wear it.

It was a simple nightgown of two different shades of ivory. It was made from the softest cotton she had ever felt. It took the design from the Edwardian era sleepwear. Sliding it on, the hem brushed her thighs. It bared her shoulders beautifully while the gown had two buttons at the low neckline. The intricate lace edging was stunning and a shade darker than the rest of the garment.  Truthfully, she had never owned a nightgown so beautiful. Granted, she normally slept in old shirts of Vladimir’s when she was alone. When she was with him, she didn’t bother with wearing anything but him.

Sliding the panties up, she smiled. There was a soft hem higher up on her rounded arse. It left the bottom curve fully exposed. There was a bit of a ruffle across the hips until it dipped down in the front. Blushing, Aiah felt lovely wearing the gift.

“You look beautiful Aiah.”

Turning when she heard his voice, Aiah blushed even more upon seeing the look in his eyes. “Thank you Vova, the gift. It is beautiful. I didn’t realize you were standing there.”

“I didn’t want you to know. I wanted to see your face when you saw the gift.” His lips grazed against Aiah’s. “Kitten, you are beautiful. This? This pales to your beauty. Without you wearing it? It might as be a rag to clean the floor.”

“Vladimir Putin a former spy, current despotic leader, tyrant, and dictator. Also a closet romantic. Who knew?”

“Shh. Don’t tell.” He smiled.

Aiah smiled and laughed. “Not to worry Vova, I will keep your secrets.”

“I know Kitten. I know. I have something planned for us.”

“Do I need to change?”

“Don’t you dare.”

The room they walked into had one time been mostly for his daughters.  It was an entertainment room the girls used to watch television and movies with their friends. The large sectional sofa had a chaise made for two complete with a table filled with snacks for them both.

“Is there anything you need?”

“Just you.” She smiled and kissed him.

“I believe that could be arranged.”

Vladimir reclined back on the chaise only to pat the spot between his legs. The look on his face made Aiah smile and her heart soar. He looked happy. No. It was more than happy. The man she loved dearly looked content.

“You are thinking something.” He said.

“I am.” She sat down. “You look like a man that has found peace within himself.”

He moved her so that Aiah sat between his legs. Hands were gentle as the guided her body back against his how. With her head resting against his shoulder, the pair nuzzled close. Vladimir held her hand and wrapped his arm around her to hold his love close.

“No.”

“No?”

“I didn’t find it. Your hand guided me there.”

There was more that he wanted to say. There was more he wanted to tell her. He couldn’t. Or perhaps it was wouldn’t. Even Vladimir wasn’t sure which it was.

They watched the movie he had chosen for them. The Dead Season. It had come out when he was a teen. He wanted to show her something from his life. More importantly he wanted to help her understand what made him into him.

For a short period in time, the world was just the two of them.  

 

Chapter Text

The inauguration of Trump was playing on the television. She stood watching what she considered to be a farce. Violine had a run in with the bastard years ago in New York and Aiah had seen it all. Tobias had been with the girls, thankfully. There wasn’t a physical altercation because of her father.  

Nostrils flared while her lip curled in disgust and Aiah snapped the television off angrily. The man that the Americans elected would forever be called an orange stained shite gibbon by her. She only called him a ‘tangerine coloured arseheided wankstain’ once. To his face.

“Something wrong?” Vladimir came up behind her.

“I was just watching the dullard that the Americans elected as president. He is going to need to have two translators work with him when he speaks to you. First to go from Russian to English and a second from English to Idiot. Sadly, I don’t know of anyone that speaks idiot as well as that bastard does.”

Vladimir chuckled. “Your opinion is that high? I am impressed.”

“Violine and I were in Manhattan for a show of her’s. We were either 17 or 18. Mum and Dad were with us when he tried to grab V’s arse. Mum held me back while Dad stepped between Trump and V. I called him a tangerine coloured arseheided wankstain.”

“In front of him?”

“Oh yes. Right to his face.” Aiah shrugged. “Luckily my temper isn’t anywhere like it was back then. I want to know where he got a bible that was supposed to be personal and when he learned to bloody well read.” She was referring to the fact that Trump was sworn in on two bibles, Lincoln’s’ and his own. “The Democrats shouldn’t have put Hilary up. The Americans were not ready for a woman President, especially not a Clinton.” 

Lips touched the nape of her neck while hands pressed to Aiah’s slim hips. “Perhaps I should distract you.”

“When aren’t you a distraction Vova?” She chuckled and smiled.

“When you are asleep.”

“Not true. You are in my dreams.”

He chuckled and kissed her again. “Are you ready?”

“Yes.” The morning meetings and such did not give them time to work out prior. So Aiah went with him to take her aggressions out on a speed bag.

After much negotiating, a decision was made that Aiah would indeed stay with him. She now had offices at the residence and at the Kremlin. They started their days together with some sort of workout, if possible.

A typical day for them including waking up together with enough time for a bit of bedroom sport. If there was time, they typically enjoyed some sort of exercise together. They both loved to swim and could easily do laps in the pool for an hour or more. They both made sure to eat something for breakfast. Other meals weren’t always possible to take together as they rarely stopped until it was time for bed.

Aiah was unable to find a convenient time for him to go with her to London. So, Vasili and Kolya accompanied her along with three other men. Items were shipped immediately and she set up everything for her flat that needed to be taken care of. She left Moscow and returned within 24 hours.

Vladimir was asleep when she crawled into bed with him. He had gotten so used to her being there, his sleep was restless.

“You came home to me.” He pulled into his arms.

“Of course.”

His touch was gentle when he brushed her hair back. Tenderly, he kissed Aiah.

“Did you think I wasn’t coming back Volodya?”

“I knew you would. I just didn’t expect you until later today.”

“Silly Volodya.” She kissed him that time. “I don’t want to be away from you any longer than I have to be.”

Vladimir’s hand slid over his lover’s bare skin. Cupping her arse, a hand moved to her waist and pulled her tight to him. The soft gasp of surprise Aiah made gave him a smile. Tipping his head, he kissed her again.

“My girl. My Kitten. My lady. My love. Mine.”

“Lady?” Aiah chuckled.

“Yes. Lady. My lady.”

The following morning they were enjoying a quiet breakfast when Aiah set a box down on the table.

“Is this for me Kitten?”

“Yes.”

The first item was a small photo album that contained pictures of Aiah from the time she was a newborn babe until she was 20.

Looking through the album, Putin smiled. “You were a beautiful child.”

“Thank you.”

“Is this your cousin?” He pointed to a picture.

“Yes. Logan cannot wait to tell you some of the stories of my misspent youth.”

“Misspent youth?” He laughed. “What was the worst thing you ever did?”

“I almost killed a man.”

“Aiah….”

“No. It’s true. It was in self-defense but…..Noah’s father attacked Noah, his mother, and Logan. I stopped it from going further.”

“Kitten….” He frowned. “How old were you?”

“I was 21. No charges were ever levied against me, it was a clear case of self-defense. Jake Durham is his name. He attacked them with a pitch fork.” It wasn’t quite correct but she had no idea how to say muck fork in Russian. She never needed to before now.

“Is this why you abhor violence?”

“Part of the reason, yes. I just saw enough of it traveling with my parents as well. Oh. There are two more albums in the box.”

“There are?” Looking again, he pulled the next one out.

Vladimir Putin laughed. It was almost every photograph that had been taken of the two of them. There were so many pictures. He marveled how much happier he looked with her standing with him.

There was the last album left. Opening it, it was empty except for a selfie she had taken of them in bed just a couple of weeks prior.  

“Our future together?”

“Yes.”

“Thank you Kitten. This is the most wonderful gift. It is second only to your panties.”

Aiah laughed.

The days slipped by quickly. With each passing day it became obvious that Vladimir Putin’s moods had changed. While never what one could call gregarious, he joked more often and smiled. The only person that verbalized the change was Medvedev.

Aiah was surprised that he kept her with him. If he was at the Kremlin, she would be with him. It didn’t matter if there was nothing scheduled that he would need her services for. Putin wanted her with him and she happily went. When there was nothing scheduled, she worked on translating literature into Russian.  

When he worked from the Novo-Ogaryovo residence, things tended to be more relaxed. It gave Aiah time to normalize their lives some. She loved to cook and often would fix their meals or make something she knew he enjoyed. Vladimir found himself feeling less restless and more centered with her close at hand.

It had become a habit of his to take an hour away from whatever he was doing and sit with her, just the two of them. While it may be work related, it was always because there was pleasure in doing so. How she managed to soothe some of his savagery, he didn’t know.

Aiah was quite a bit more optimistic than he was in certain areas. It helped put things into a perspective that he wouldn’t have normally considered. Vladimir knew he was a powerful man and had been for many years. It amused him when she would order him to take his jacket off. Her delicate seeming hands would rub his neck and shoulders until the knotted muscles relaxed.

 

There were regular visitors and staff that came to the residence strictly for business reasons. If the visitors were someone she knew well, Aiah would send tea and something sweet in for Vladimir and the guest. If it was someone she knew very well, she would bring it in herself.

The door wasn’t shut with Medvedev there but Aiah knocked anyways. When she was given permission to enter, she walked in carrying a tray. Something Vladimir had said rather recently made her realize that there were several types of German sweets that he hadn’t had in many years. She rectified that situation by serving scharzweiβ gebäck, also known as checkerboard cookies and a lush pear torte.

“Aiah Tobiasonova what a surprise!” Medvedev smiled. “You do all of this work for us?”

She served them properly and with a smile. “But of course. I cannot allow for the President and Prime Minister to get hangry.”

“Hangry?” Both men looked to her.

“Anger that comes from being hungry.” She smiled warmly. “Is there anything either of you need before I go?”

“You will not stay with us Aiah?” Putin looked to her.

“I am unable to. I have work that needs done.”

Putin chuckled. “And if I insist?”

Aiah gave him a wicked smile. “Then how can I resist?”

She left the two men shaking their heads with affection.  

“You are a lucky man.” Medvedev smiled after she was gone. “I have never seen a woman more devoted to a man’s happiness than Aiah is to yours.”

“I know.” Vladimir nodded with a smile. “I am very lucky.”

They were in his private office at the Kremlin one late afternoon. She had finished updating him on how she would be handling an upcoming summit meeting. Aiah had quickly found a way to make the process easier and have less mistakes.

When Aiah found several mistakes on the last trip, she had not been happy.  

They were discussing if it was a simple mistake due to language or if it had been something more sinister. Aiah wasn’t sure. She wanted to hear the recording before rendering judgement.  She went back to her office, only to return an hour later.

“Sit down please Kitten.”

When she moved to a chair, his hand on her thigh stopped her. “No. On my desk in front of me.”

There was just a hint of a smirk on her lips but she did as asked. For twenty minutes they went over the findings before he stopped her again.

“Put your feet on the arms of my chair.” Once again they spoke on business for another twenty minutes.

Vladimir stood up abruptly. He pressed her back so that she was leaning back on her forearms. His fingers found the tiny buttons of her blouse. Slowly he exposed her breasts. A single fingertip stroked over her nipples and he smiled when the peaks hardened.

“You look beautiful just like this. You look ready. Ready for me.”

“I am always ready for you.”

How is it you are always ready for me?”

“How could I not be? All these years and I want you more and more each day.”

“You are a very naughty Kitten.”

“Of course.”

“You aren’t wearing anything under your skirt. Why is this Aiah?”

Shoving her thighs open, he sat back down. Fingertips brushed lightly across her shaven sex. She was wet and very much ready. Vladimir tasted her.

“I like to surprise you.”

“You do surprise me. All the time.”

With her head hanging off the back of the desk, he fucked her mouth first. Vladimir had to pull away before her talented mouth took things too far. He wasn’t ready to cum yet. He was inordinately gentle when he buried his face between her thighs. The kisses and licks were soft. He wanted to tease her. He wanted to make it where she would beg him.

“Vladimir…..Vova….You are cruel.” She whimpered. “Please. Don’t tease me like this. I need you Vova. I want you.”

“What is it that you want my beauty?”

She whimpered again but didn’t answer. He slapped his hand against her pussy. “Tell me Aiah. Tell me what it is you want.”

“You.” She begged again. “I want you. I want you to fuck me please. Please…..”

That was all he needed to hear before he shoved his cock into her without warning. A soft cry left her lips.

“No? You do not like me fucking you sweet Aiah?”

He pulled out quickly and forced himself into her arse. Pain enveloped the pleasure and immediately her orgasm started. He took her hard and fast. She pleaded with him for more and he gave her what she asked for. He emptied himself into her as she tried to catch her breath.

When they were both finished, he collected his love and pulled her on to his lap. Holding her close, they sat together for a while, both content and both happy. With her head on his shoulder, Vladimir smiled to himself. It had taken him his entire life to find this sort of happiness but he had found it with her.

It was a cold February day when Aiah visited a few charities in Moscow. The charities were all for children. Aiah, had seen children starving when she herself was just a child. The cruelty of starvation and homelessness left its mark on her.

With the help of churches, synagogues and other places of worship, she had started a nationwide campaign to stock and start food banks and even pet food banks. Several people mocked her for the pet food banks. Aiah had seen it firsthand how homeless youth would give their own meager food rations to their pets. People could mock her all they wished, she knew that it was needed.

Vocational training became readily available for children that had aged out of the orphanage system. She was also working on the availability of job training within the orphanage system as well, especially in technology and computers. One of the biggest projects that she took on was improving the availability of homeless shelters.

Visiting charities was something that Aiah did several times a year. What did these charities need the most? Money was always needed, that was for certain. Yet, what else? Sometimes it was repairs on the building. Other times it was food. No matter, the charities usually got some of what they asked for.

Always careful, she made sure that the charities were indeed helping others and not just on paper. Aiah also shied away from ones that were founded by the Russian oligarchs. They tended to fund their own. Although several of them had donated funds to what she needed the most with the hope of finding favor with her or Putin.

There was a new one on the list in Moscow. Frowning, Aiah didn’t recall hearing about it. It was an all-girls program to help young women that had left orphanages. She knew something was wrong immediately because not only was she was not permitted in the building, it was horribly derelict.  The men inside immediately threatened her with violence if she didn’t leave. Vasili and Kolya were with her and removed Aiah from the situation immediately.

Vasili was calling in the police to check out the building. Something was horribly amiss. They were walking back to the car when the voice of a child began screaming for help. Aiah took off in a fast sprint towards the voice much to the displeasure of her guards. Kolya, Vasili and the driver immediately called for backup. Then a call for an ambulance was made. Someone would be getting hurt.

A man was seen by all three of them to be harassing and then beating a girl because she wouldn’t go into the building with him. The child was covered in blood and bruises.

“Let her go!”  Aiah was furious.

The man simply pointed to his pistol that was stuck down the front of his pants. In two seconds the man was dead from two bullet wounds to the head. Vasili and Kolya didn’t hesitate when he threatened Aiah. They both fired at the same time.

Thirty seconds later the place was crawling with Federal Protective Service agents.

The child recognized Aiah from the shows she did and clung to her waist, sobbing.  Picking the little girl up and holding her on her hip, she spoke softly to the child. Aiah found out that the little girl was named Lesya but Lesya didn’t know her own last name. The child had ran away from an orphanage just days before. The man who she was fighting against was a local pimp.

Aiah sat down on the ground with the child on her lap. Leysa clung to her rescuer. With gentle questions and lots of affectionate hugs she was able to get the nine year old girl to tell her why she ran away.

When the ambulance arrived, they wished to take Lesya to the hospital. The two paramedics scared her so badly that the little girl wet herself. Aiah was willingly to go in the ambulance with the child but Vasili and Kolya both vetoed that idea.

In the end the paramedics gave Lesya clean scrub pants and cut them short enough for a child. Holding the weeping child, Aiah felt her own heart break for the little girl. In the end, the girl rode to the hospital in one of the State owned cars while sitting on Aiah’s lap.

Neither Kolya nor Vasili was looking forward to telling Vladimir Vladimirovich what just happened.

At the hospital the doctors and nurses took care of the child, which included a hot shower. Aiah stayed with the girl the entire time. She saw the bruises and marks on the little girl. Her heart ached for the child and that was when she made a decision.

 It was approximately four hours after finding the child that there was a faint rumble felt on the hospital floor.  Kolya, Vasili and Aiah all knew what it meant and ignored it. After talking to Aiah, Kolya decided to give his wife a call.

Sitting on the bed with Lesya was Aiah, she was braiding the little girl’s hair back in a Dutch braid. Men dressed in black suits entered the room and quickly exited, only to stand outside.

“Not to worry Lesya. I think you are getting a surprise visit.”

Not even a second later, a concerned looking Vladimir Putin entered the room. Aiah smiled and stood. The solemn looking Lesya stood beside her, holding on to her rescuer’s hand. She introduced Putin to Lesya with a warm smile. Leysa shook his hand with a look of amazement and turned to Aiah for clues on what to do.

“Would you like to say hello to Vladimir Vladimirovich?”

Biting her lower lip the little girl turned shy after saying hello and buried her face against Aiah. Putin sat down on the rolling chair next to her bed. After giving the little girl a teddy bear, he started spinning around in the chair and being silly. Immediately, Leysa changed her mind about the often times stern and taciturn man. It took him mere minutes to win over the heart of Leysa.

Looking up, Aiah saw the huge smile on Kolya’s face. Vasili was sporting an identical one. Excusing herself for a moment, she stepped out with the two men. She was met by a bone crushing hug from Valya, Kolya’s wife.

Shortly after purchasing her own home in Moscow, Aiah started doing work with the local charities. She had seen a need and decided to fill it. That was when she met Valya Belova. Wary at first of Aiah being English, Valya was the first person to help her with the charities. The two women had spent many evenings talking long into the night at Aiah’s flat because of the work they both did.

Valya had been orphaned at a young age and spent her formative years in an orphanage. She was one of the lucky ones. She survived the experience in the orphanage and out of the orphanage.

“Aiah.” There were tears in Valya’s eyes. “Thank you.”

“Whatever for?”

“Kolya might have wanted to smack some sense into you but for what you did for the girl.”

“There was a child in danger, what else was I supposed to do?”

Valya took her friend aside and explained. Kolya had called her because Valya had be trafficked as a young girl. It was the first time that her husband had seen something so very sinister that close up.

“Can I meet her? Please? Kolya and I want to help. Maybe we can give our boys a sister.”

“Of course.” She poked her head back into the room. “Vladimir Vladimirovich, Lesya? May I bring someone in please?”

“It is perfectly fine with me Aiah, what of you Leysa?”

Leysa nodded.

“This is a very good friend of mine Leysa. Her name is Valya. She is the wife of Kolya, who helped protect us today.” When she pointed to Kolya he waved to the little girl, making her smile. “On the other side of Kolya is Vasili. He also kept us safe today.” The large man smiled warmly at the little girl.

It was just a short while later than Vladimir and Aiah left. Valya would be staying with Leysa overnight. Assuming that everything worked out well, she and Kolya would be bringing Leysa home with them the following day.

They were seated together heading for home when Putin kissed Aiah’s temple. “What you did was a good thing.”

“I’m rather surprised you aren’t ready to give me a spanking.”

“I didn’t say I wasn’t ready to give you a spanking. I just said you did a good thing.” He held her hand with a smile.

“Vova, I want to do more.”

“Do more what?”

“Helping with children. Here in Russia. All of Russia.”

He looked thoughtful. “You wish to stop interpreting?”

“No. I want to work with you. I rather like being at your beck and call.” She kissed him when he laughed. “I can do more to help. I want to do more. What I saw today? That should never have happened. I have experience. I can make changes that would help. I want to make Russia better for the people here. Russia has become my home. Will you let me?”

“Are you saying you wish to become a citizen?”

“Yes. I would do so right this very moment.”

 “You wish to live here. In Russia?”

“Yes.” Tears welled up in her eyes. “I have never felt at home anywhere else. Russia is my home. I could pass virtually any citizenship test you could give me. History or language. I know I don’t met the requirements yet but I can and I will.”

He gave her a look and shook his head. “Aiah. You have served the Presidents and Prime Ministers of Russia for over 11 years. Do you honestly think you would have to meet the requirements?”

“Yes. It is only fair.”

“Aiah.”

“Vladimir.”

“You are stubborn.”

Laughing, she shook her head. “You are too.”

“I’m the President, I have to be stubborn.”

“I’m the President’s harlot, I have to be even more stubborn than the President.”

“What shall I do with you?”

“You could turn me over your knee and spank me.”

The following day saw the director and staff of the orphanage that Leysa had been at taken into custody. They all would eventually go into prison because of the cruelties that they dealt the children. A close friend of Valya’s would be taking over that same day as the people were taken into custody. Six weeks later, Valya and Aiah took a tour of the orphanage. They hardly recognized the place after so many much needed changes were made. 

Four months later Aiah was working behind the scenes for a large production involving the presidency. She was in charge of the ‘backdoor’. Upon hearing that, she laughed and replied that she thought he was in charge of that. He rolled his eyes at her. Somehow it made it all even funnier.  

She was in charge of what was happening behind the scenes of his annual call-in show. Aiah worked these shows with him before but she never been given this much to be in charge of. To say it was daunting would be a gross understatement.

She had many hats on during the show. First and foremost, she was there to field calls that were not in Russian. There would not be many, thankfully. Aiah was also keeping a bank of questions that were not given to President Putin for air time. Any that were important would be given to him after the show to address, if he wished, at a later date.

In charge of the bank of interpreters that were fielding questions on social media, Aiah was called over for help. The question made her smile but it was of a personal nature. A woman from Dallas, Texas asked if Vladimir Vladimirovich would go out two-steppin’ with her. The amount of Texas slang used in the tweet was impressive.  It had been a while since she had heard the term ‘buckle-bunny’.

Before the phoned-in questions made it to the front of the house, they all had to pass through the backroom testers. If it was a worthy question, the people running the phone banks up front would get to it next. After that, it was up to the moderator

Most of the questions so far were about economics, taxes, and prices in general in the beginning. Every so often a question would go sideways into something more entertaining like football.  Another was put through to the moderators about issues in the far east of the country. The moderators didn’t take the question. Aiah vetoed their decision and bumped it into the queue again. 

The moderators never had someone with veto power before. If they didn’t field the question it didn’t go live. Putin gave that power to Aiah for two reasons. He trusted her judgement fully and he wanted to see the difference in the questions asked.

The question she dreaded came in early on. What was Russia going to do about the Western Russophobia? While it could not be seen by anyone but Putin, there was a monitor in the desk he sat at. Aiah sent him a message.      

Mention that you have had excellent talks with Bryce, May, and Merkel. What the talks were about and what each country can do to help each other. Perhaps speak about educating the West on how we are similar and the differences make each country unique.

He took the advice and walked through the question smoothly.

Time was flying by and so were the questions. To anyone that hadn’t worked on this sort of program before, it seemed like the questions were random. They weren’t. They jumped to keep people interested. There was still a pattern to what was asked when.

Sanctions. Extremism. Homosexuality. Novichok. It all came up.

The text questions and comments were rolling in quickly. That was handled by others, thankfully. More than one of the comments made her wince.

Businesses needed to stay in Russia and stop looking to outsource to the West, Putin said. He continued on that he had warned companies in doing such would hurt them in the long run. She sent another message to him directly.

Mention the lack of control, communication issues, quality problems and workers in Russia losing out.

The internet was brought up along with the banning of certain apps and social media. Putin spoke candidly about unjustly banning things would be the easy way out and calls on officials to find other ways to ensure security without compromising free speech on the Internet.

Cursing under her breath, a cancer question came up. Aiah took note of that and sent a quick text to a friend back in London. Dr. Ilona Sanders was an oncologist in London that had been a good friend since they were both school aged.  Five minutes later Aiah’s email beeped. A file on cutting risks was there.

Grabbing a bottle of water, she drank it down quickly while the next handful of questions were light and amusing. Quickly following the softball questions he was hit with more about access to health care. Once again, Aiah made notes.

Over four hours later, they gave the very last question of the night.

The caller spoke. “Rumors have circulated for years about your love life. Why do you keep someone you care about so hidden? Do you have love in your life? Do you love someone? Your country believes in you Vladimir Vladimirovich we wish for you to be happy.”

Aiah’s mouth dropped open when she heard the questions. Staring up at the screen she tried to look as everyone else did. Thankfully, they all had the same expression. He rarely spoke about his personal life.

Vladimir chuckled softly. “Thank you for your concern. That is very kind of you. I know the rumors. Some of them are quite funny. Do I have love in my life? Yes. I have family and friends that I care deeply for. I don’t believe that is the answer you desired.” He smiled like a naughty school boy. “I have a woman that I love and I know she loves me.  I do not keep her hidden nor do I announce her name to the world. I have a good life. I have a happy life.”

“Are you angry with me?” They were in the back of the limo alone. Finally.

“No. I am not angry with you. However, you are a cad Volodya. Or should I call you Vovochka like the jokes? You looked like a naughty little boy when you grinned at the camera.” Aiah smiled.

He laughed. “Did you besmirch my fine name again Kitten?”

“I am not sure. I may have been in shock.” She teased him with a smile.

“Do you have a gown to wear?”

“Formal?”

“Yes.”

“I get to see you in a tuxedo again?”

“Yes.”

“Wonderful! I have four that I haven’t worn before. When?”

“Early September. I want you on my arm Aiah, not as an interpreter.”

She stared at him at first. Swallowing, Aiah nodded. “Very well.”

“Really? I expected an argument.”

“I think it is better for you to admit it rather than get caught.”

He smiled slightly. “Thank you.”  

“What event?”

“The Embassies Ball.” It was a large event consisting of 201 consulates and embassies in Russia.

Aiah spoke in English. “…….Next up we have our BBC-Moscow correspondent Steve Rosenberg reporting. How are things in Moscow Steve? Depends on how you look at it Frank. Russian President Vladimir Putin gave his pet strumpet a heart attack today…….”

He smirked and kissed his very much loved pet strumpet.

It was a beautiful late July Sunday and Aiah was out running. The men running with her were not her regular detail. All six men plus Aiah and Svetlana Medvedeva were going to be competing in the Siberian International Marathon in a week. This was the last full run until the actual marathon.

Rather than torture Vasili or Kolya, she had asked if any of the men or women in the security services were planning on running. For the last three months, they had been training. Vladimir and Dmitry were sitting out in the garden, relaxing.

“You look thoughtful.”

“I suppose I am.” Putin smiled.

“You are going to announce you have a girlfriend?”

“Perhaps.”

“There will be outrage.”

“From some, yes. She is willing to become a citizen.”

“Finally.” Medvedev chuckled and took a drink. “Vladimir Vladimirovich you would be the only man that was able to find a woman that is possibly even more relationship shy than you are.”

Smiling broadly, he locked his fingers behind his head. “How long did it take you to figure out Dima?”

“Year four.”

He chuckled. “I am impressed.”

“Don’t be. You? I knew you were besotted with her but Aiah Tobiasonova was a far better actress than you were an actor.” Both men laughed

“Did you know that Oleg Yegorovich wanted to have a go at Aiah?”

“Did he try?”

“He never got a chance.” Putin smirked.

“It is a good thing. That little girl would have eaten him alive.”

“That would be if he was lucky.”

“It looks like they are come up the blacktop now.” Medvedev saw his wife’s blond hair in the distance.

“Where is Aiah? I do not see her.”

“That’s because I am right behind you Vova.” She laughed when both men jumped.

Taking a long drink of water, she was doing her cool down stretches.

“Did you take a dip in the pool first?”

“No, I am just a sweaty beast.”

“What was your time Aiah?” Medvedev offered her a towel from the table.

“Thank you. 2:27:11.”

“You did over 42 km in less than two and a half hours?”

“Yes.”

“Remind me to not anger this one Vladimir, she is the tenacious sort.”

He laughed. “Yes she is. Since I am no longer doing those ridiculous shirtless pictures, perhaps we should have a calendar made of you Aiah?”

“Oh so I have to go shirtless on horseback? I would give myself a black eye from the bouncing.”  

He chuckled. “Only you Aiah, only you. Go cool down and get cleaned up. We will be dining in about an hour.”

She kissed him sweetly. “You two stay out of trouble.”

“It will be easy to stay out of trouble. I’ll be right here picturing the bouncing and your black eye. Dima will be right here trying not to picture the bouncing or your black eye because Svetka would beat him senseless.”  He grinned cheekily upon hearing her laughter.

Aiah came back out wearing a pair of wide legged black linen pants with sandals and a snug cropped shirt. Svetlana returned from cleaning up about ten minutes after her.

After dinner, the two couples were relaxing together.

“You look thoughtful Aiah.” Svetlana said.

“Somewhat, yes.”

“Do we need to worry?” Putin picked up Aiah’s hand and smiled at her.

“Most likely.” She fluttered her lashes at him.  

“Aiah Tobiasonova talk! What is that brain you have thinking?” Medvedev teased her, as per the usual. 

“It is almost time to add to the children’s series. We tend to do something different every year. Perhaps fitness and nutrition would be a good topic this year. We can use some of the footage of Svetka and the agents running. Perhaps you and Dima working out? Put it into the context of healthy and such.”

“What is bringing this up Aiah?” Svetlana asked.

“I saw the statistics on weight and fitness. They have doubled in five years, not in a good way. Over half of the country is overweight. Something has to change. You will be seeing a greater spike in numbers from weight related diseases like diabetes mellitus within the next five years. It has already begun. I believe the education on proper nutrition needs to start earlier and be yearly to reinforce the idea of being healthy. It is a fine line too. You don’t want to shame children into eating and exercising because that will backfire. So it needs to be integrated into something fun.”

“Write me something up this week and give it to Dima and myself. Do you still have the files you sent me from your friend?”

“Ilona? Yes.”

“Get those to Dmitry and all the questions.”

“Done, both files sent.” She tapped something on her phone only to hear Medvedev’s phone chime a second later.

“Aiah what are you using?” Svetka asked.

“Just a file system is all. I have it backed up on two computers and one drive. It finds the file and I send it. I had one of the programmers make it up for me. It’s quite basic but excellent. Would you like to try it?”

“Yes, very much so.” A second later another chime was heard.

It was only around about 2100 when the Medvedevs left. Vladimir and Aiah decided to retire to the bedroom.

Walking back in after brushing her teeth, Aiah was wearing a pair of stiletto heels that buckled around her ankles and a black thong. It was one of those pieces that rode up high on her hips. The material was sheer and hid absolutely nothing.

He turned to look at her and smiled. “Sit.”

The command was followed immediately. Aiah sat on the edge of the bed with knees together and legs tucked back with her feet crossed at the ankle. Vladimir studied her. Her long curly hair was straightened. It was a shroud of silk flowing down her back.

A smile teased the corners of her lips upwards into almost a smile. He couldn’t help but think how good her glossy and wet looking mouth would feel on him. He was certain it was a sin to even look at a woman like Aiah. The way her darkly outlined eyes begged him promised every pleasure in the world.

“Spread your legs for me.” He spoke softly.

She was something from another world. She had to be. Those pale green irises had a black limbic ring which made them stand out all the more. Her heavy black eye makeup made it even more obvious. Spread her legs she did. Feet were a couple of centimeters off of the floor and slowly she opened her legs. Something so simple became a show for him to watch.

He remembered the day it was whispered that Aiah Corrington could possibly be a courtesan. If he hadn’t seen the hurt in her eyes the night before, he might have believed such a tale. Cupping her cheek gently, he closed his eyes. Aiah’s skin smelled like cinnamon, clove and vanilla. That combined with the scent of her arousal was the headiest of aphrodisiacs to Vladimir.

This wasn’t just any woman. No. This woman was his.

“Where do you belong Aiah?” He was curious to what her answer would be.

“With you.”

Looking down at her, Vladimir smiled. There could have been no answer more perfect than the one she gave. Standing next to her, his fingers toyed with her nipple while he considered what he could do to her.

Anything. He could do anything he goddamn well pleased to her.

The knowledge that he could do anything he wished and she would plead with him for more hit him hard. That rush of power coursing through his veins was better than any drug. Toying with her nipple still, his other hand went around her throat and squeezed. Knowing she trusted him not to harm her made a smile appear on his lips.

He could literally cut off the air that gave her life. Vladimir could hurt her in ways that she would never be able to heal from, physically or mentally. He knew that he had the ability to do such deeds. It was part of him and it always had been. Smiling a predator’s smile, he looked into her beautiful green eyes.

There was also joy in knowing that he would kill anyone that tried to harm her, even himself if need be. Dropping to his knees, Vladimir’s hands were strong as they thrust her legs apart even further.

Her pretty little ass was at the very edge of the bed and he looped his arms under her thighs. Fingers were rough and they just shoved the thong to the side before burying his nose against her exposed sex.

Unable to wait, he tasted her before shoving his tongue inside of that pretty little cunt. He lapped her up like a man dying of thirst.  God. She was like a bitch in heat all the time. Eleven years of this woman and no matter, she affected him like no one had ever had before.

He bit and even chewed on the sensitive flesh, so much so that she was in agony. No, he didn’t hurt Aiah. Vladimir kept her teetering on the edge of an orgasm for so long that she couldn’t take anymore, or so she thought.

Inhaling deep, another smile appeared. “Your scent Kitten, you are needing something. What is it?”

“Vladimir, please. Don’t tease me.” She on the verge of tears.

“Tell me.”

“Nnnnnhnnnggggg!” Aiah tossed her head from side to side.

Chuckling softly, he smiled. “You are so ready. Aren’t you my girl? One touch and you would topple over the edge.” He blew gently on her overly sensitive flesh. “Tell me Aiah, tell me what you want and I may grant you what you need.”

“Volodya, you.”

He flicked his fingers against the most sensitive part of her once, twice, and three times. Holding her down, Vladimir smiled. “No Kitten, I know you want me. Tell me what you want me to do to you.”

Aiah’s voice was but a whisper. Each word trembled as she tried not to cry. “I want you Vladimir. I want you to fuck me. Make love to me. Just for the love of all that is holy let me finish. It hurts.” The last two words were barely more than a whimper.

He devoured her.  Yet, still kept her hanging on to the very edge.

Not that she could see it but he smiled against her smooth flesh. The moans of pleasure and the sweet sounds she made were erotic. She would press upwards begging for more. When it became too much, Aiah would try and twist away. He wouldn’t let her.

Finally, Vladimir gave his Kitten what she wanted.

He watched her as an orgasm ripped through her body. The pleasure he gave was violent. Tears left black trails on her cheeks from the makeup. In those moments she didn’t just cry out his name, no she cried out to him and for him. In those moments her beloved became her deity.

Vladimir loved hearing that. He loved hearing his name on her honeyed lips. Lifting himself up, he held Aiah’s head gently and kissed her. The kiss was soft and slow. He whispered loving words upon her lips and drew her in with a gentle hand. Pulling back from the kiss, he looked his love in the eye and drew himself back down to the floor.

His lips brushed against her wetness with the softest of kisses.

Just the touch of his lips and her legs tried to come together, he shoved them apart once again with force. He knew that it caused her a bit of pain but he didn’t stop. His hands gripped her flesh hard. Once more, he feasted upon her wetness. The next orgasm made her fight. Aiah’s voice rang high with a note of pain beneath everything else.

She bucked and tried to roll, he grabbed her harder and bit her inner thigh. The pain redirected her thoughts and another orgasm ripped through her body. Once more, it was painful. When she came again, the way she moved it was as if a bird of prey ripped the orgasm out of her with its claws.

He slapped his hand against her wetness once, twice, three times before shoving two fingers into her. His fingers pumped in and out brutally while his mouth increased suction around that tiny bud of pleasure. By the fifth orgasm, he thought she might be ready. He slapped her thigh and turned her to her stomach.

“Where do you want me Aiah? Where!”

“My arse, please? Please?” She begged.

“And what a pretty little arse you have. I do have a great fondness for taking you there.” He growled in her ear.

She was on her hands and knees. Ripping the thong from her body, he threw it off the bed.

“There. That is how you should be. Bared. I’m going to use you my beautiful Aiah. I am going to fuck you until you scream and beg for mercy.” His voice was soft but it was hard, almost cruel sounding.

He rubbed his cock against her soaking slit at first. When she started to push back, he smiled. He forced himself into her tight little arse and grabbed on to her hips. Rarely was he gentle when he fucked her like this.

With her head turned to the side, Aiah panted and cried out softly. She always looked so innocent when he would fuck her. He, of course, knew better. She had not been innocent in, at the very least, 11 years.

He pulled out. She was almost to her breaking point. He had purposely stopped her from having another orgasm. When she got like this, she would cry and beg him. Just to ease the pain. It was beautiful to watch. He slapped her on the thigh again and laid back on the bed.

“Ride me Aiah. Ride me.”

She did. God he loved it when she wore those heels. She looked dangerous like this. Impaled on his cock, she rode him hard. She was almost there. He could tell. Reaching up he grabbed her hair and pulled her viciously down. Her eyes were level with his and she pleaded with him. She begged for mercy. Those beautiful green eyes were filled with tears. Staring into the depths, he saw her pain.

Instead of brutality, his kiss was tender and loving once again. His hands turned gentle. She liked to play rough but as they both approached climax, Vladimir just wanted to hold his Kitten gently. In his arms she wept tears of joy.

It wasn’t long before the sixth orgasm hit her hard. His first, quickly turned into two more. 

Holding her in his arms, Putin smiled. He stroked her gently. This was not something he would do with her often. He couldn’t. While he enjoyed breaking down her barriers and letting Aiah give herself over to him completely, never would he harm her.

“I love you my sweet Kitten.”

“I love you Volodya.”

“I know. Oh I know my Aiah.”

True power was wanting to be the cause of the most exquisite of pleasures rather than the most destructive of pain. She had the same power over him as he had over her. It was how he was able to love her as completely as he did.

It was six days later that six Federal Protective Service agents, Svetlana Medvedeva, and Aiah Corrington ran the Siberian International Marathon. Two of the agents came in right about the time Aiah did which put her in the top 5 of overall runners and the top 3 in women. It looked good that three of the five top runners were employed by the State.

The others all did very well too.

Because she came in so close to first place, Aiah was getting bombarded by questions from reporters. There were several pictures taken with Aiah, the Federal Protective Service agents, and Svetlana.  Of course there were several taken with the agents, Svetka, Aiah, Medvedev and Putin.

The pic that would go around the world was the six agents and Aiah standing from shortest to tallest. Aiah was shorter than the men so she was seen in the very front. They were all showing off their biceps in one picture and their abs in another.

While she was happy to pose for the pics, she was happier to get a shower in and change clothing. Dressed simply in a sundress, she was escorted back to where Putin was.

He took her hand in his own and smiled at Aiah.  The air was fresh and warm. There was nobody around besides the guards, or so they thought. Taking his phone out, he put on a song for her. Michael Bublé’s ‘Everything’ was a favorite of theirs. Spinning Aiah around, he pulled her close for a kiss. Vladimir smiled while looking into her eyes.

“I am proud of you Kitten. You have set a wonderful example for people everywhere.”

Blushing and smiling, she looked into his eyes. “Thank you Vova.”

“You are happy.”

“I am.”

“Living with an old man in a house full of dogs in a country not of your own isn’t too bad?” He teased.

She laughed and shook her head. “No. Actually it is perfect. I think this is the happiest I have been in my entire life.”

“I knew you were Russian at heart.” He kissed her lips with a smile once again. “I love you my Kitten.”

“I don’t know about that but a Russian holds on to my heart.” She kissed him that time. “I love you too.”

Neither of them realized that they were being watched and photographed while they shared some alone time together. Soon it was time to return to Moscow. Medvedev and his wife had already left. He and Putin didn’t fly together due to security reasons.

When they arrived back at his home, Aiah went to shower again while he was called away to take care of some business. It was then that he was told. His affair with Aiah had already hit the internet and the global news stations were carrying coverage. His personal aide cringed when giving him the information.”

Most everyone found something else to do somewhere else, if they could.

“This is what counts for news?” Putin laughed and shook his head. “It was just eight weeks ago that I officially stated I had someone in my life.” Waving everyone off, he went to tell Aiah.

Aiah already knew. She was looking at the news on her iPad and talking to her parents on the phone. She looked as amused as Vladimir did.

“Feckin’ hell Mum! Who is this numbskull on Fox News? He doesn’t even realize I am not a bloody American but a Brit!” Aiah shook her head. Mother and daughter spoke a few more minutes before hanging up.

He laid down on the bed fully dressed. There was a look of amusement on his face. Aiah laid down beside him on her belly with a smile. Leaning in, she kissed his lips.

“Was this arranged? My mother said to tell you hello and she hopes I haven’t driven you utterly mad yet. My father, of course, growled.”

“No Kitten. It wasn’t.” He chuckled. “I never thought my sex life would be important to anyone else but me.”

“I don’t know, your sex life is very important to me.” She smiled brightly. “Now what?”

“You father will never grow to like us together will he?” He tucked an errant curl back behind her ear.

“No he won’t. To be fair, it isn’t anything personal. It’s just that you are a man.”

“Truly?”

“Well no. He doesn’t normally hate men for no reason. You he hates because you are fucking his daughter.” She grinned happily. “As a matter of fact? You should probably fuck his daughter tonight. Just to keep up appearances, of course.”

“Is that so?”

“Oh of course. I mean if my father is going to dislike you? You really should give him a truly good reason for him to dislike you. I think fucking my arse would be an excellent reason. Oh wait. No. I think fucking my mouth and THEN my arse would be a better idea. More bang for the buck.”

“My Aiah I had wished you had come to me when I was young man. I see that I was utterly wrong in thinking that.”

“Oh?”

“There is no way I could have handled you when I was young. Now? Oh I truly enjoy handling you. Get on your hands and knees Kitten.”

For three weeks, Vladimir Putin refused to speak about his relationship with Aiah. He would not even allow the Kremlin to release a statement of any sort. Aiah was joking that Peskov was ready to ask for combat pay. At the end of the three weeks, he finally sat down with a reporter.

“Thank you for inviting me Vladimir Vladimirovich. Many people were shocked when you admitted to having someone in your life. Even more were shocked when the pictures of you and your girlfriend were released. You didn’t seem bothered by the pictures.”

“While I do prefer to keep my private life private, I wasn’t bothered by the pictures. Nor was Aiah. When we returned from Omsk, I was notified immediately of what had happened. Aiah had gotten a call from her parents, who live in the US. They already knew of our relationship and had known for a while. The same goes for my family.”

“How did you and she meet?”

“Aiah is an interpreter and a translator. I met her while she was working.”

What did you think when you met her?

“What did I think? I was utterly enchanted. There was immediate attraction and chemistry between us. Aiah was introduced as Miss Corrington. I am sure that my aide had no idea how to say her name any more than I did. When we were alone, I asked her.

A-ah

The two syllables dripped from her lips like honey. I fully admit that I wanted to taste her lips. Instead, I asked her what it meant. She told me her full name first. Aiah Giselle Peregrine Corrington. Aiah is Hebrew for a raven or a vulture.

I asked her which she was. Both she said. I liked her immediately.

She was beautiful, intelligent, and unafraid of the world. I may have thought her to be foolish at first because of it. She wasn’t foolish. The only time she was ever foolish? It was when she agreed to see me again.”

“Why would you think that?”

“I know what sort of man I can be.” His reply was softly spoken.

“What was one of the first things you noticed about her?”

“I am a cautious man. Aiah is a beautiful woman but there are always worries. I started off watching the people around her at first. Men treated her differently than most women. They averted their eyes from her direct gaze. They wouldn’t meet it. I wanted to know why. 

It didn’t matter where in the world she was. She had an ability to make some men very unsure of themselves. It wasn’t overt. As a matter of fact it was extremely subtle but they deferred to Aiah. It took a while to figure out why.”

“So why?”

“She made them uncomfortable. Extremely uncomfortable for many of them. Once I saw it, I understood why. These men were uncomfortable because she was stronger than they were. Mentally or physically, they couldn’t even begin to fathom the strength she possessed.

I have to admit, it made me take a step back. Was there something I was missing about her? It sounded so ridiculous, especially seeing her. Aiah appears to pose no physical threat that you could think of. Unless threatened, she would never hurt someone purposefully. My Aiah hates for even animals to suffer and had not eaten meat since before she was even a teen. I couldn’t understand it. Yes she was strong. Yes, she was brilliant and wise. My god. Her beauty could make a monk rethink his vows.”

The interviewer laughed. “Did were you uncomfortable in her presence?”

“No, which was both strength and weakness on my behalf. I believed, foolishly, that I could possess her. I was so very wrong in my thinking. A woman of such intelligence and valor? You cannot possess them. They possess you.

It took me a good bit of time to understand that.

The first two years that we were together? I was utterly wrong in my thinking. We didn’t see each other very often at first so it wasn’t as noticeable, at least to me. I couldn’t try and control her. She was an intelligent woman and would do as she saw fit. I had to have faith in her and trust her that she would do the right thing.”

“Did she always do the right thing?”

“Yes. She did. Aiah always did the right thing for her, for me, and for us. That isn’t to say I always liked her doing the right thing.” Putin chuckled.

“I feel that there is perhaps a ‘but’ somewhere in this tale Vladimir Vladimirovich.”

“Yes. There is. I was foolish and didn’t listen to her. I learned in the worst way possible that I was wrong. I almost my Aiah three times because of it.”

“Three?” There was a note of surprise there.

“When we first met? She walked out on me. I treated her as I saw her, as a pretty girl. She told me in no uncertain terms that she was far more interesting on the inside than on the out. She was correct. While Aiah is attractive physically, the woman that she is fully is far, far, far more incredible.

The next time would be years later. That time I turned my back on her. Why? Because I was an utter fool. It was six months later that we ran into each other completely on accident. We were at an embassy social in Germany. She was there on the arm of another man. Immediately, I was jealous. Horrifically jealous.

The man happened to be her cousin. When I asked to speak privately with her, Aiah consented. She let me know what a fool I had been. That very same evening she was kidnapped on the orders of a madman. She was only missing for approximately an hour. I saw the kidnapping. That was one of the worst days of my entire life. I still thank God that Aiah was found safe.”

“When you say madman what do you mean?”

“A leader of a terrorist group that is extremely anti-American had seen Aiah on the television. He turned her into his obsession. It was under his orders that she was kidnapped. If he would have gotten his hands on her personally? He would have killed her.”

“I’m so sorry. I had no idea.”

“No one but a handful of people knew. It is over now and the man is dead. Before you ask, no I had nothing to do with his death.”

“You both concealed the affair for quite a long time, why?”

“I found comfort with Aiah. I didn’t want to share her with the world. I needed her all for myself.  It sounds strange doesn’t? With the world not knowing who she was to me made it easier to get away together. Eventually, I had enough of the hiding and I wanted her to accompany me to functions and events not as part of a working relationship but our relationship.”

“What changed for you?”

“Life looked differently through her eyes. There was this one day that I walked into her office, unannounced. She was leaning back in a chair with music playing. I didn’t know the piece but it was a single cello playing. Alone as she was, the shadows obeyed her almost like a faithful pet. When her hand would move or a smile grew wider the shadows couldn’t contain her. I know it was just because of the lighting but it made me look twice.

It was dark outside and she had the lights lowered. Her work was done for the day but I wasn’t able to finish quite yet. She was waiting for me.

Her lips curved upwards in a moment of pleasure. Her hair was unbound and the curls spun wildly downwards. Dressed in burgundy and gold, she was a picture of happiness. I almost felt as if I was intruding.

Almost.

If I had let my presence to be known, Aiah would have lured me in to her world with a joyous smile. I did not wish to interrupt. I was far too fascinated by what I was witnessing. Something so simple made her so happy. It has always been that way.

She would not allow me to give her gifts. Nothing. She didn’t want things she said. She could purchase her own things. What she wanted was me and nothing more. A tale from my childhood was far more of a gift than anything that could be purchased.”

“Did it bother you that she didn’t want items from you?”

“It did at first. I couldn’t understand her reasoning. So, we spoke about it. Gifts that require no thought put into them are not gifts at all she had said. Let me hear a piece of music that moved you. Tell me about the written word that made you think. Those are true gifts she told me. Those gifts come from the heart because you had to think that I would enjoy knowing and learning more of you. The same goes with sharing stories of your life, those are the gifts that mean you care. She was right. There was nothing that she could buy for me that I couldn’t purchase for myself but those glimpses into her world were always shared with love.”

“Are you fond of the dark? Is that why you took such pleasure in watching Aiah Corrington?”

“I wasn’t before then, no. To me, darkness had always been something cold. When I was still in East Germany and Moscow went silent? I was cold and very much alone. Those were the two most pervasive ideas that I took away from when the Soviet Union collapsed.

I was forever cold and forever alone.

Even as a proper family man, the darkness had always been my downfall. I was an adulterer in the dark. There were pockets of warmth but they never lasted long. And they certainly never removed the ice around my barely beating heart.

For so long I had shrugged off what I had done, the pain I caused my family hit me fully. When Aiah was kidnapped I telephoned my ex-wife the day after and confessed everything. I was still cold and still alone. How Lyudmila was ever able to forgive me? It says far more about her than it does me. I will forever be grateful for Lyudmila. We are still close friends, I am very thankful that we are.

Aiah’s world isn’t dark, it was dusk. Aiah’s world was cast in shadows but it was lit by never ending flames. She reminded me of melting chocolates, warm fragrant fires, and heady spice. As I watched her, I noted the music. The music was lush and exquisite, just as the woman she had become. It was never cold there. Never. That day watching her, that was when everything changed. I stopped seeing darkness everywhere.”

“You rarely show your private life, why now?”

“As I said before, I want her with me. I don’t want questions raised when she is by my side. It goes back again to watching her listen to the music.”

Sighing, Putin looked to his hands before raising his eyes back to the camera. “I felt inadequate. I had everything a man could ever want. Yet, it wasn’t enough. I hated who and what I had become in my personal life. I was isolated in a sea of people. Sometimes, being lonely is the price one must pay. But with her? Even when Aiah was on the other side of the world, I wasn’t alone. I am a better man with her at my side.”

“Why do you think that Vladimir Vladimirovich?”

“Nobody knows of everything Aiah does for Russia. Recently there was a raid on a building that was trafficking young girls. We rescued 103 children that were being held captive and sold for sex. The address popped up because of her charity work and it struck her oddly when she arrived. Something wasn’t right. If Aiah had not been there, who knows what would have happened.”

“What makes Aiah different from the rest of the women that have been in your life?”

“Aiah is extremely skilled in Krav Maga, Sambo and Judo.” He chuckled. “She is also an Olympic gold medal fencer. She is truly a force to be reckoned with, physically. Mentally?” He chuckled. “I’m solving 2 + 2 and she has solved the Poincaré conjecture.”

The interviewer laughed. “What else?”

“She has what I always craved. Aiah was in possession of something that was lacking in my life.  I couldn’t figure out what it could be. I could feel it but I didn’t recognize what she had that others did not. Permit me to rephrase that, it wasn’t that others did not have it, no. They didn’t have the quantities that she was in possession of. It wasn’t until I began to know the actual woman she was that it became plain as day.

My parents did not have this gift. They couldn’t have and survived all that they did. Except, it wasn’t a thing in the truest sense of the word. It wasn’t tangible. There was a sadness that washed over me when I realized how rare this was.

I craved it desperately and for so long. I believed that it was something myths were made of.

I sought to find it in the arms of countless women. I was 55 years of age. I was a father. A husband. A womanizer. And the leader of a country. I found what it was that I longed for. I finally knew what I had needed all these years. I finally recognized what I had been searching for.”

“What was it?”

“Forgiveness, kindness, integrity, and most of all? Compassion.”

“Really?”

“Yes, really. Most people do have these traits, mind you. It’s just with others I have never seen it having been the overriding factors for their outlook on life. Aiah doesn’t take a salary. She donated it so we as a country were able to budget in more social workers to help those in need.

Every day I am amazed by her. A couple of years ago, she and I sat down for lunch. We were working together in my office, preparing to for the G20 summit. I asked her a question. What do you want most out of life? She glanced up from what she was doing and smiled. I want to leave the world a better place than when I arrived was what she said. Noble but also whimsical. So I asked her how she planned on doing that. I was curious. She excuses herself and brings back her large briefcase. Out of it comes a large pack of papers.” Putin held his hands about 16 centimeters apart.

“I glance at it and realize she has solved a few problems that we as a country face. This was before she and I were dating.” It was a lie of omission. They had been seeing each other for a while but technically they were not dating.

“I asked her why she put in all of this work on a country that was not her own. She tells me Vladimir Vladimirovich, you are right. Russia is not where I am from. Still, I love Russia. I spend most of the year here and I even own my own home. It doesn’t matter that I am not Russian. Instead it matters where my heart stays. The country, the people here have been close to my heart for so many years why wouldn’t I try to help when I am able?”

“What was the hardest thing for you to overcome with having a foreign born woman in your life?”  

 “I know what many Westerners think about Russians. When you are told day in and day out that you are the devil, there are days that you believe it. Aiah had been in London. She was doing an interview about working and living in Russia with the BBC. The interviewer asked her how she could stand working in close contact with me and working within the Kremlin. Didn’t it frighten her? This was during a live broadcast.

Frightened? Whatever for, she asked. He starts naming off the evils of Russia. The man interviewing her did not know her well. You could look into her eyes and see that a storm was brewing. She asks the man if he had ever met me. He says no. Had he spent any time in Russia at all? He says no once again.

So, you are judging what I can and cannot stand based on your own uneducated views? The man gets huffy with her. Aiah, shuts him down. In the United States I was assaulted and nearly raped by a former actor after leaving the hotel gym to return to the room I was sharing with my parents. The security footage disappears and the man is never charged. I, however, am told I should wear more clothing or something REALLY bad would happen to me. I was 16.

When I was 18 and in England a group of 4 men thought it would be loads of drunken fun to try and force their attentions on me. Luckily, I was much better at self-defense than they were. I ended up being sued because I beat two of the men bad enough that they needed medical care. The two men? They were over 30 centimeters taller and 7 stone heavier than I am.

When I was 20, I was in Russia working with a group of American businessmen. They tried to get handsy. One even put his hand up my skirt. I cancelled the contract immediately. Do you know who was punished? They were. Not me.

President Putin and Prime Minister Medvedev have always been kind, polite and gentlemanly with me. So have all of the people I have come to know in Russia. So tell me, how I can stand to work in the UK or in the US when someone attacks me, it is my fault but when I work in Russia a feel safe. Not only do I feel safe, I am safe.” There was just a flash of anger in Vladimir Putin’s eyes. The anger was directed to the men that had tried to hurt Aiah.  “I am proud of my country. I am proud to be the president of a country that a woman can feel safe in. My woman, my Aiah, feels safe here. That makes me proud.

With her I found what I needed to feed me, heart and soul. Don’t get me wrong, I am a man after all and I have needs. What I need is my Aiah.”

“Do you understand her now?”

“Fully? No. I don’t think someone can ever fully understand another person. I do understand her better.

The black jaguar Obsidian? He loves her and he understands her better than any man could. Aiah isn’t much different than one of the big cats herself. I would smile to myself when I would see her with that jaguar. Not only did he love her, there was respect and that there was a lesson in and of itself.

Not only do I love her, I respect her.

I remember a day that had been utter shite. I didn’t want to talk, not even to her. I tried to pick a fight just to focus my anger and frustrations elsewhere. She pushed me back into my chair, which surprised and angered me further. Aiah held me. She held me like I was the most important person in the world to her. She held me like no one ever had before. It took me a long time to recognize that I am the most important person in the world with her and to her.  

Her voice was a soft caress. The words she spoke soothed me. I could close my eyes and just be. It was how I learned to separate the man from the President of the Russian Federation. With my Aiah I could be the man. I didn’t have to be anyone else.

She said to me Volodya, I have you. You are always safe with me. Let it go. Whatever it is...send it away and take comfort in my arms. I am not going anywhere without you.

That was the first time she called me by any sort of diminutive name. Aiah I could send you away. I said to her. She laughed at me. It was a sound that mended my heart.

She told me that yes I could try to send her away. But she never was the obedient sort to begin with and she wasn’t going to start now.”

The interviewer laughed. “I have met Aiah Corrington on several occasions. She is a feisty little thing, I know. I just cannot imagine anyone being uncomfortable with her. She is a very lovely woman. You still haven’t fully answered Vladimir Vladimirovich, why do you think these men were?”

“Why were these men uncomfortable? She was more intelligent. More resilient. Wiser. Stronger. But most of all? She didn’t need a man. They could see her indifference to them. They couldn’t cajole her. They couldn’t force her to react. If they tried she would have laughed in their faces. I asked her about it. Its different here than in the West. Men and women think differently.

Vova. Do you know why I kissed you before you kissed me? She asked me.

No, I didn’t.

With lions, it is the female that approaches the male of her choosing. The Queen of Beasts needs the King of Beasts. It isn’t about equality. It’s about strengths. My strengths compliment yours but they do not compete. Besides, I had never seen a man that I felt was worthy until you.

I know many people are angered that she is not Russian.

“She isn’t an ethnic Russian?” The interviewer looked surprised.

“No, she was born in London to an English mother and an American father. As a matter of fact, they can trace her family lines on both sides to England and Scotland as far back as 1100 AD. Her parents were both in the military so she grew up all over the world. That is how she learned the number of languages that she did.

She has lived in Moscow six to seven months out of every year for the last nine, almost ten, years. She is residing here permanently now and has applied for citizenship. She loves Russia as her own country and has set up more programs that anyone knows to help all of Russia. Well, anyone knows except me.” He chuckled with a smile.

“So tell me, how could I not have fallen in love with this woman?”

They ended the interview there. It was done and it would be shown to the world in a week.

Aiah was up and ready at what she referred to as stupid o’clock. It was actually only 8 in the morning. They were eating breakfast when the news came on. They announced the interview was coming on. Arching a brow she laughed.

“This is why we are up this early?”

“Yes.”

They watched the interview together. When it was over Vladimir switched the television off and looked to Aiah.

“That was more candid than I expected.” She was still somewhat in shock.

“Does that bother you?” There might have been a note of worry in his voice.

Rising from her chair, she went to him. Wrapping her arms over his shoulders, Aiah smiled with warmth and tenderness. “No, it doesn’t bother me. Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, you are the man my heart chose for me to love. I am happy with that choice. I love you. I don’t care if the world knows that I’m yours or if no one knows. All that matters to me is that you know I belong to you.”

“I belong to you in equal measure Aiah, you know this.” He kissed his Kitten.

They didn’t have a chance to say another word. The phones started ringing and aides were rushing in with questions and everything else. Aiah went back to her own office. She was glad they weren’t going to be at the Kremlin that day.

Dmitry Peskov, the press secretary, sat down with Aiah later that morning.

“How do you wish for your education to be listed?”

“I was never good with any sort of title for myself.”

“It is for your business cards Aiah and for the official website.”

“Dmitry? Why do I need different business cards or to be on a website?”

“With the interview that came out today, you are unofficially the First Lady. Unofficially, because you and the President have not married yet.”

The last sentence caught Aiah taking a sip of her coffee, immediately she began to cough. “Excuse me?!”

“You did not realize this?”

“No.”

Peskov kept on going. “You are going to need your own press secretary and a few others in the way of support staff.”

“What?” Eyes went wide looking at him.

“I sent you an email with a list of people I would personally suggest. You have Douglas Lang from the BBC wanting to do an interview with you. There are many others but he is possibly the most famous.”

“So in three hours my life just grew exponentially more complicated. Lang?” She rolled her eyes before speaking in English. ”Bloody hell. Lang is a complete git. Feckin’ manky bastard is that one.”

The usually unflappable Peskov’s eyes went wide and then wider before he started to laugh.

Aiah cursed under her breath. “I forgot you speak the Queen’s English.”

“Aiah Tobiasonova, I sincerely doubt that was the Queen’s English.”

“Fair assessment.” She sighed. “Dmitry, if you don’t mind me getting back to you? I need to talk to the President so that he may clarify a few things for me.”

“Of course, take the time you need. Is there anything I might help you with?”

“Not unless you wish to handle my hot headed father?”

“I have met your father, I will let you deal with him.” He chuckled.

Aiah went back to work. She was doing some translation work for the Museum of the Great Patriotic War. The diary had been written in a fairly easy cypher. It appeared to be done to make it more difficult for Nazis but not for other Russians.

The actual diary was extremely fragile. Going through the pictures line by line she was able to fill in the missing parts with fairly good accuracy. The downfall of the project was how personal it was. Aiah loved history. She knew of the hardships that the citizens of Leningrad faced during the Nazi siege. Cannibalism had been looked upon during that time in two camps. There was those that will kill a living person and there was those that scavenged corpses.

“Aiah? Is something wrong?” Vladimir walked into the office.

Jumping, she hadn’t heard him enter. She stood quickly. “My apologies, I was lost in thought.”

“What are you working on?”

“That diary.” She grimaced.

Walking over to him, she double checked to make sure he locked the door. Her arms went over his shoulders.

“Yes?” He smiled and kissed her lips. “That bad?”

“Yes. There isn’t much in the diary that I haven’t heard before but it is so personal it just makes it worse.”

 “Aiah, you do not need to stand when I walk into a room.” He wrapped his arms around her waist.

“I would rather do so, if that is ok. I am still your employee after all.”

“Aiah, about that…….”

“It’s ok. Peskov was already here.”

“Are you okay?”

“Volodya, I love you. I signed up for this out of my own free will. Yes, I am okay.”

“Thank you.” He looked into her eyes with a smile. “The Embassy Ball that is coming up is important.”

“Oh?”

“It will be the first time that we are together in public that is outside of our working relationship.”

“Should I panic now or should I wait?”

With the Ball looming on the horizon, Aiah decided to lose herself in work for a few more hours. It was almost 1700 hours when her personal phone rang. Without looking at it she knew it was her parents.

“Hello?”

“Aiah! We just finished watching the interview!” Clarice was a morning person, unlike her daughter.

“What did you think Mum?”

“It was sweet. It was very sweet. He obviously loves you.”

“Mum? Can I ask you a personal question?”

“Of course sweetheart.”

“Why are you okay with this but Dad won’t even look me in the eye?”

“Darling, your father loves you very much. He came from a different place than you or even I did. The Soviets and then the Russians were always the bad guys to him. You and I didn’t have that. We were in so many different countries there wasn’t one that was the bad guys.  It’s no different than how your Nan and Papa viewed the Nazis. They were the enemy for them.”

“Mum that is ridiculous. The Nazis were killing people in large numbers. In Leningrad alone 1 million people died. Yes, there was the Cold War but bloody hell.”

“He will come around Aiah. He’s just afraid.”

“Why aren’t you?”

“You were always independent. Even when you were still in diapers you had to try to do it first before you would let anyone help you. I was also with you more than your father was. I learned to trust you whereas you are still his little girl.”

“Thank you Mum.”

“Always darling girl. This too shall pass when it comes to your father.”

“Is he home?”

“He and Joseph went fishing. You wouldn’t believe it if you were here. The water in Galveston is blue!”

“That has to be a sign of the apocalypse.”

“Next thing you know England will re-stick itself to the mainland of Europe and ‘Her Madge’ organizes a coup and takes back control from the politicians.”

Aiah laughed. “Wow. I am terrified what the 4th horseman would look like Mum.”

“That would be when your father ceases to be a hot headed arse. The minute that happens, we are doomed. Aiah, enjoy your life. I mean it. You are in love and he is in love with you. A blind man could see it. Slow down and enjoy how wonderful it. I mean it.”

“I will. I swear. I love you Mum.”

“I love you too.”

The day Aiah had been worrying about was soon upon them.

“Kitten?”

She looked up from putting on her makeup. “Yes?”

“Let’s stay home.”

“If that is what you wish to do, I have no complaints.”

“You would rather stay at home and permit me to fuck you until you are delirious?”

“Is this a trick question? I always would rather to be fucked by you until I am delirious than go anywhere.”

He looked at her with a smile. “I know. Alas, we must go. I do have something I want you to wear.”

“Oh?”

He placed a red box down in front of her. “I know you do not care for gifts but this is something very special. It is for our anniversary. Open it please.”

It was easy to see it was jewelry just by the box with Cartier written across the center. Cautiously Aiah opened it. Nestled inside was a small screwdriver with a gold Love bracelet. The bracelet would be locked upon her wrist as a sign of commitment. A thin vein of fear coursed through Aiah but she was able to push it aside.

“Will you wear it?”

“Yes.” She smiled shyly and looked at the inscription.

Two hearts, one destiny.

“It’s beautiful. Thank you.”

Vladimir closed his eyes briefly in thanks. As Aiah was left handed, he locked it upon her right wrist.

“It is love. Our love.” He kissed her lips. “I love you Kitten. I will be a bit late due to that meeting but it won’t be too long. You will have Logan with you, yes?”

“Of course. He and I have been each other’s platonic dates since we were in our teens.”

Aiah would arrive before Putin would and be able to mingle at the Ball. Logan was on loan to the St. Petersburg Consulate while Noah, his fiancée, was still in Germany. Logan only had two more weeks of being in Russia and would return to his post in Germany after that. The cousins had spent a good bit of time with each other for the last 6 weeks.

He had known for a while about Aiah’s relationship with Putin, of course. Logan had been upset to begin with. Logan, like many Westerners, did not understand the differences in countries. There was a Saturday that Putin was in a meeting that Aiah couldn’t attend. So she brought her cousin out to Novo-Ogaryovo to see where she was living. They both knew that Putin would be home eventually but not when. It took seeing how they were to each other for him to forgive her. Just as Aiah worried about her cousin, Logan worried about her.

Arriving together, Logan and Aiah looked the part of a beautiful couple. It was only when he was introduced to others that she admitted that they were related. Once she said it, it was easy to see. The cousins looked quite a bit alike.

Aiah tended to be more modest than most women when it came to formal wear. That had more to do with maintaining a professional look than anything else. This night, however, she wore something that she took delight in and she knew Vladimir would enjoy seeing on her.

The gown Aiah wore could be best described as something rich and darkly romantic. It was almost a sheath dress but right below the breasts it became a very narrow a-line style. Wafting red silk chiffon accented her slender figure. The bodice was hand beaded with burnished gold, red, and black that fell to the waist and went towards the back. At the small of her back the red chiffon spilled with an extra layer to create a train like effect. The silk was airy and soft appearing and it flowed like she was enveloped in fire. Her lips matched the dress but the rest of her makeup was kept simple.

Aiah was a woman who was confident enough to wear such an intricate gown. It would not have worked well on almost any other woman. But on her? The spellbinding allure of a muted golds and reds was undeniable. Kitten heeled sandals matched the dress. She only wore delicate golden earrings and the bracelet.

It was obvious that she was a woman that was loved and was happily in love.

She stood with Logan at the back of the room staying unobtrusive while some couples were dancing.

“This music is awful Aiah.”

“Darling Logan, not everything can be Beyoncé. It’s a waltz.” She chuckled. “Do I look alright? He hasn’t seen the dress yet.”

“Oh girl. You are going to be lucky if that dress survives the night. If he doesn’t feel the instant urge to rip it off of you? I’ll tell him to get his eyes checked.”

When the music changed a few minutes later, Aiah smiled. “Michael Bublé’s Everything I love –“

“May I have this dance?”

Whirling around, Aiah’s eyes opened wide in surprise. She had not seen him come in.

“Of course. I would be honored to dance with you Vladimir Vladimirovich.” She curtsied.

No one had seen Putin enter. Logan had specific instructions to have Aiah in a certain area at a certain time. It gave the President a chance to sneak in and pull Aiah out on to the dance floor.

For the first time publically, Aiah let the carefully constructed mask fall away in regards to her lover. No longer did either of them hide the intimacy that sparkled brightly between them. When the dance ended, he kissed the corner of her smiling mouth.  

The crowed room was silent. Taking Aiah’s hand, they walked together to the podium.

“Good evening to each and every one of you. I hope you are enjoying yourselves at the annual ball. I must apologize for my tardiness. As always, something comes up at the last minute. A few months ago at the call-in show, someone asked if I have love in my life. Yes, I am loved and I love.  

I did an interview to explain who she was and why. Most of you likely recognize Aiah Corrington as my interpreter. We have worked together on and off for years. Many of you have worked with her as well. However, it was just recently that we realized the affection we held for one another was more than simple friendship.”

The smile he gave Aiah was tender but the look in his eyes spoke of the love he had for the younger woman. She returned his look with a warm blush on her cheeks.

“I almost lost her.” He paused briefly to collect himself.

“I almost lost my Aiah to a madman. She was kidnapped right in front of my very eyes. There is nothing like that sort of fear. If we didn’t get her from these people, she would have died a horrible and painful death. Immediately, my security team went into action. With the help of the Germans, the men that make sure I am safe made sure that my Aiah was safe. Thankfully, she was unharmed by the men that tried to take her from me. That was when I realized that I needed to be candid in regards to our relationship.

Aiah started to learn Russian when she was just a toddler and has spoken Russian since then. She has spent a large amount of time here. You have seen her on the television shows that help children realize how they are part of a larger world. The shows are part of a larger community for children to better understand themselves and what others face in countries all over. As she has told me many times in the past, representation matters. That is what you see.”

Putin kissed the back of her hand with a proud smile.

“What you don’t see is how Aiah also works privately to support children’s programs here in Russia. She helps them find funds, people, and items to make the lives of our children better. She has helped put in place laws that work to end child abuse, hunger, and much more.

It was just earlier this year that she saw with her very own eyes a child being abused. She ran towards an armed man with no thought of her own safety but intent on saving a life. She did save a life. Kolya and Vasili please come up here.”

A smiling Kolya Belov walked in with Leysa holding his hand. He was flanked on one side by his wife, Valya and their four sons. Like a proud godfather Vasili Ponomaryov held on to Leysa’s other hand. Aiah smiled brightly and beautifully with tears in her eyes. When Leysa saw Aiah the little girl ran to her and hugged her tight. Tears glittering in her eyes, Aiah slid down to kneel at Leysa’s level and hug her properly.

“This beautiful little girl was in severe danger. Aiah, with the help of her two bodyguards Kolya Belov and Vasili Ponomaryov, saved a life and countless more. Kolya and his wife Valya began the process to give their four sons a sister. Tonight, the adoption process is finished.”

Reaching in to his breast pocket, Putin pulled out a pen. With flourish he signed the adoption document and handed it to Kolya.

“Welcome home Leysa Belova.”

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

 

In the wee hours of the morning, Vladimir Putin sat at his desk thinking. His focus was on a small box. If everything was to work out as he planned it would be a monumental change for him. Shifting slightly, he remembered the conversation he had with Aiah three months prior. They had enjoyed a quiet day together.

“Come here Kitten, I wish to hold you.”

Looking up, she put the book she was reading down and slid over closer to him. “What’s wrong?”

Aiah was moved to sit between his legs and laid back against his body. Wrapping her up in his arms, he held her tight to him. They both closed their eyes for a few moments. The comfort they gave each other was plain to see.

“Aiah. I have wanted to ask you something for a while now but there never seems to be a good time.” He rubbed a hand over his face. “Kitten, if it is within my power to do so, I would give you anything and everything that you would ever want.”

“I have everything I want. I have you.” Aiah smiled softly before kissing him with adoration.

“Thank you sweetheart. That is not what I was meaning. We have never spoken of it before, I know. Do you want children?”

The surprise was evident on her face. “I never even considered it. I have never lived a life that would be conducive for raising a child.”

“That doesn’t answer my question.”

 “I honestly don’t know.”

“Is it because you do not wish to have a child with me?”

“Vladimir! It has nothing to do with you. I just never considered it an option. Why do you ask?”

“I am an old man but this old man cares about your happiness and well-being. If you want a child, we can have a child.” The words from him were shy sounding.

“Do you want another child?”

“That is your decision, not mine. Aiah, I would not be here to see our child grow into an adult most likely.”

She knew it was true but that didn’t lessen the pain of his words. Turning swiftly, her legs laid over his own. She faced him. Not a sound left her lips, it was in those moments that she searched his face.

It wasn’t all that long ago that someone made a comment about his icy stare. It had made Aiah laugh. The person who said that didn’t know him. She could see fire in the depths of his gaze. It wasn’t cold at all. There was passion in his beautiful blue grey eyes.

Leaning in, her lips brushed his but she never shifted her gaze away. She couldn’t. The lifetime of passion and pain in Vladimir’s blue eyes was unshrouded. He didn’t close that part of himself off to his younger lover. In his eyes she could see the joy of their shared love. She could also see the jagged edges of a heart that had been broken many times over the years.

The pain of heartbreak wasn’t just because of love for a person but the shared heartbreak of a man that deeply loved his country.

“What are you thinking Kitten?”

Once again she couldn’t speak. The words wouldn’t form. She could do nothing but kiss him again. It wasn’t a kiss that was sexually charged. That’s not to say that it didn’t have passion behind it.

There was always passion when she kissed him. Aiah reveled in his soft lips. The lower lip was fuller than the upper and she nipped the full swell. The kiss brought a million memories rushing to the forefront of her mind and each memory spoke sweetly of the love and affection he had always shown.

“Volodya, Vladimir…my beloved. I don’t know how to answer if I want a child. I do know that there would be no one I would want to be the father besides you. What am I thinking? I don’t know if I should have a child, wanting or not. I cannot imagine a single soul coming before you in my heart. “

He watched her and smiled. A soft blush graced her cheeks. Even after all of their time together, she still blushed sweetly under his gaze.

“It is nothing that needs to be decided right this minute Kitten.”

It was hard to believe that had been three months ago.

He placed the box in one of his desk drawers before leaving the office.

Vladimir stopped at the doorway of their bedroom. Neither he nor Aiah were what anyone would consider morning people. However, it was rare for him to greet the rising sun without her. Needless to say, the day had been a long one. Putin smiled upon seeing her.

She had thrown the bedding off of her sometime in the night. Sound asleep and on her stomach, one leg was drawn upwards with the right foot being pressed to the left thigh. Aiah hated to sleep in clothing of any sort. Blue eyes were drawn to her bare and exposed sex. Just seeing her like that made him ache.

He never imagined this would be his life in his later years. Almost every man he knew would have killed to be where he was today. He chuckled softly, almost every man he knew also would have killed to have a chance with a beauty like his Aiah.

Undressing, he was as silent as possible. Aiah enjoyed being woken up by him already inside of her. She had given blanket consent for him to do so and Putin was glad she did. It wasn’t something they had a chance to do often as they kept their schedules similar but it was something they both enjoyed.  

He slid into the bed and moved behind her. All that had to be done was for him to part her legs further. Slowly. Carefully. He pushed the head of his cock inside of her pretty little cunt. He waited, still as he could possibly be before he slid himself all the way in.

Whimpering in her sleep, Aiah’s lips parted. She wasn’t awake yet. He laid over her, flesh to flesh.  She was waking up gently while he caressed her ear with his lips.

“Good morning my sweet little minx.”

Stretching, her hips lifted and rocked slowly up against him.  “Volodya.” His name was a breathy whisper. “I love it when you wake me up.”

Vladimir would have never believed using a woman’s body like he did Aiah’s could be romantic, but it was. Even with their rough couplings he could see it. He understood that he didn’t actually use her, she gave freely to him. He returned the favor in kind, always.

It was the way her body would meet his and how they would look each other in the eyes. They both made the time to simply be with each other. The way both of their lips would part and call out for their beloved. It was something most people only dreamed of.

It took him years to understand that they had made love from the beginning. It was never just about him. It had always been about both of them. Their pleasures, wants, desires and even more. It was sharing of an experience.

Her body lifted to meet the strokes and she cried out with sleep still in her voice. “Harder please. Please Volodya.”

She could beg all she wanted, he wasn’t going to take her like that right now. His lips were soft upon her own as her head tilted up to kiss him. She begged him again and again.

“No Kitten. Not this time.”

Their shared love was slow and gentle.

After their passions were sated, the two lovers dozed for a couple of hours before Putin decided that they needed to take a short holiday. They left that evening for one of the dachas and would return early Sunday morning. It wasn’t even a full weekend.

Some of their most important conversations happened when they were simply relaxing together. It didn’t matter what the conversations were about. No, instead it was more about the gentle pursuits that they did with each other. Being able to lay a hand to the other’s skin or lean in for a kiss and talk about the simple things in life, these were precious moments.

Aiah had made a baby blanket for a friend of her’s back in London and was embroidering the edges. Vladimir was reading a copy of the diary that she had translated.

Putin was stretched out on the chaise portion of the large sectional sofa with Aiah seated next to him. He liked to stretch out where as she pulled herself in closer together.

He glanced up and studied her for a moment. Aiah had been spending a good amount of time outdoors in the since spring. Sporting a light tan, she looked beautiful.

“What are you working on?”

“Finishing up the baby blanket for Alena.” She looked up and smiled. “I should be able to send it out in the next day or two.”

“May I see it?”

“Of course.” She secured the needle and spread the small blanket out.

“You have done a beautiful job. Is it for a boy or girl?”

“Boy. I used white, blue and red for the embroidering because she is of Russian decent and her husband, Arkadiy, is Russian. Look.” She tapped a finger at the edge of the blanket. At each point she had made a tiny Russian flag.

“Lovely work Aiah.” He smiled. “She is the interpreter?”

“Yes.” Aiah smiled. “You have met her before. She was the one that filled in for me with Theresa May when I had the flu.”

“Ah yes. Now I remember. If I recall they are moving to Moscow in the summer?”

“Yes. I am hoping that she will come work with me. Arkadiy will be returning to teach at Moscow State. The four years at Oxford did him good but he wants to come home.”

“You look happy.” He laid his hand over hers.

“I am happy. Are you?”

He studied her for just a moment. Vladimir knew he could be a bit vain at times. The fact that Aiah chose him was still a surprise some days. He knew that he was one of the most powerful men in the world but she had lived a life surrounded by men like that. Money and power mattered little to a woman that could pick up the phone and speak to virtually any leader in the world. Not only would they know her name they would take that call. Some of them would even take her call before his.

“Yes. I am very happy. The day you agreed to live here with me changed everything. You made me a happy man then. When you decided that you wished to become a citizen? Aiah, I cannot find the words to tell you how I felt and still feel. What did your friends think about us?”

“They were both shocked to say the least. Vova, what can I say? I love you and have loved you for a very long time. I feel like I finally found where I was meant to be.”

“I love you my Kitten. Alena and her husband were not upset?”

“Only mildly Volodya. They are Russians. They love and are proud of their President. Are you enjoying the diary?”

“I do not think enjoying is what I would call it. My heart hurts for what this woman went through. My own parents went through the same. However, I do find it interesting and important.”

“I felt the same way. Luckily nobody caught me in my office crying while I worked on it. You haven’t noticed any mistakes have you?”

“No Kitten. Your work is, as always, impeccable.”

She beamed with the praise. “That you think that about my work means the world to me.”

Leaning back on to the chaise lounge part of the sofa, Aiah slid her fingers into the belt loops of his jeans. There was a smile on full lips that was angelic but the look in her eyes was anything but. Following the tug, his body covered hers.

“Vladimir Vladimirovich? Will you kiss me?”

He did. She raised upwards to meet the kiss. Soft lips blossomed like a morning flower awakening to the sun. Aiah pulled back slightly only to gaze into his eyes once more. Gentled hands caressed his handsome visage and she kissed him again. Blunt fingers and strong hands tangled in her curling hair as they shared their love with each other.

This time it was he that pulled back, looking at his lover’s smiling face Vladimir pressed his forehead against her’s and smiled.

“My Aiah. My beautiful Aiah. Of all the woman I could fall in love with, I knew I had no other choice in loving you.”

“Why do you say that?”

“How often do the poets speak of how frail love is? Love and women are supposedly so frail but with you? I found out that was nothing but lies. Our love is not frail. Our love is strong and robust. I have become a braver man because of your love. I have become a wiser man because my heart demands that I listen not just to the words but the meaning of what you share.”

His hand slid under the long skirt that she wore and drew the softly spun cotton upwards. His hand gripped her strong leg tight and pulled it over his lower back. With his weight rested on the apex of her thighs Aiah could tell that he was aroused.

“Words are so very inadequate for what I wish to say to you.” Her fingertips stroked his jaw and moved upwards over the bridge of his nose. “When it comes to you, everything is inadequate for what I wish you to know. I suppose I will just have to keep showing you.”

Smiling upwards she moved to wrap her arms over his shoulders. Her body lifted and pressed to him. The whispered promises needed no words as she kissed his ear. It was a pledge to always listen. When she kissed his eyelids it was an oath swearing she would always see him as he truly was. A gentle hand laid over his heart and she felt the beat against her palm. It was another promise, unsaid, that she would always love him.

When he groaned Aiah arched up to him. Grinding against his erection made him thrust downwards. She reached between them and unzipped his jeans. It was then he realized she wasn’t wearing anything under her skirt.

Whispering softly in his ear, she smiled. “Vova would you please fuck me?”

Yanking her blouse up, he mauled her breasts. Biting and sucking hard, Vladimir marked the pale skin of his lover. She guided him gently and when he found himself at her entrance, he thrust into her. Aiah couldn’t see it but when she cried out for him, he smiled. Immediately the wetness clamped around him. Already she was hanging on by just a thread.

Legs wrapped around his waist as Aiah met each of his thrusts. His hand wound into her hair holding her still while he thrust in harder each time. They found their pleasure with each other quickly. He settled her back between his legs on the chaise. When she went to set her blouse back, he stopped her.

“No.” His fingers teased across her nipples gently. “I want to be able to touch you.”

Pulling Aiah back against his chest, her head rested on his shoulder. His hands stroked over the firm and smooth flesh. Cupping a hand beneath her breast, fingertips pulled at a hard nipple. The other hand stroked the bruises and bite marks he left on the other. Already her breath quickened and she made sweet little sounds that brought a smile to his lips.

“You want more so soon Aiah? So needy you are.” He teased her.  

“But of course Volodya, I must maintain my position as your English whore. In maintaining my position Vladimir Vladimirovich, I believe that I should be allowed to suck your cock.”

“You believe.” He chuckled. “I find this agreeable. Kneel on the floor Kitten.”

Sliding off the sectional, she stood up first. After twisting her hair back into a ponytail she bent at the waist, Aiah wriggled her hips in just the right way so that the skirt slid down to her feet. There was a bit of a smirk on her lips when she kissed him.

Sliding down his body, Aiah shoved his thighs apart when her knees hit the rug. At first, she kept at a slow pace. Soft lips rained kisses over his shaft. Sucking just on the tip of his cock, her lips tightened around the meaty head. She sucked harder there and that fast pink tongue zig-zagged across.

“Aiah...” He breathed her name with pleasure.

Wanting to do nothing more than shove her all the way down until she choked while he forced himself into her throat. But he couldn’t move. He didn’t want to move.

Sliding back, she released him from her mouth. He went to grab her and missed when she ducked down. From the underside of his balls, she licked and nipped all the way back to the top of his prick. Muffled cries and sweet sounds of her own need echoed in his ears.

When she started to suck him off again, he almost came immediately. Grabbing that ponytail of hers, he wrapped it around his hand. Forcing her down, her nose was buried in his pubic hair. Aiah gagged which made him smile.

Wet sounds when he thrust upwards. She was drooling, unable to help it. Still her eyes stayed on him. Vladimir kicked her thigh, gently.

“Open your legs for me Aiah.”

She, of course, complied without hesitation. He fucked her mouth harder still. It had to be hurting her jaw. It wasn’t that he didn’t care, Vladimir knew that she loved it.

“Your wet little cunt has made a mess on the floor. I fuck your mouth like the whore you are and you want more. Insatiable tart, what shall I do with you.” His voice was low, soft even, but there was a hardness to it was well. He was thinking about what he wanted to do to her.

A few minutes later, he shoved her off of him. Aiah fell backwards and immediately he was on top of her. With his knees on either side of her stomach and with cock in hand, he came on her lips, throat and tits.

Staggering back, he righted his appearance once again before sitting down. Aiah, didn’t move yet. She sighed happily and swiped a hand across her throat. She licked fingers clean with a smile and sat up once more.

He stared. How could he not? His disheveled Kitten looked completely used and abused. Cum dripped down her tits and was smeared over her mouth. Breasts exposed, they were mottled with bite and suck marks.

Later, he wanted to tie her to their bed and fuck her ass until she screamed.

Licking her lips, Aiah was just about to say something when they were interrupted. It was the head of his security team that came into the room unannounced. Immediately, her skin went cold. She knew that no one would interrupt Volodya like this if something had not gone horribly wrong.

In less than the bat of a lash, he went from her Volodya to being President of the Russian Federation. Neither of them were embarrassed at being caught, it had happened far too many times for either to worry about it.  Aiah simply covered herself up

There had been an incident in Moscow.

“Aiah, get things together quickly. As soon as we are able we will be returning to the Moscow Kremlin.”

“Of course.”

All she had was her computer, phones, and sewing. Still she got everything ready to go, including herself. She changed into something more substantial than the skirt she had been wearing.

Standing in front of the television, it was horrific to watch. There had been 4 mosques in the capital city. Each mosque had a suicide bomber go in and they detonated the bombs at the exact same time. The bombs were relatively small by the looks of damage to the buildings.

The Moscow Muslim community in Moscow was loving, warm and vibrant. Aiah had spent quite a bit of time at each of the mosques. Each and every person she had met were absolutely welcoming to her. All four of the mosques were very interested in working not only in the Muslim community but for the good of everyone.

If one of the charities needed food? They would cook. Perhaps it was a plumbing situation, someone was a plumber. Working with a few of the churches and synagogues, the mosques had started programs that reached far and wide.

It took her a moment to understand why the bombs were small.

These men wanted to cause pain and suffering like never before. The carnage being shown was horrible. Now three men were stationed at each of the damaged places of worship. These men were holding the surviving people hostage in and around the mosques

There were, of course, a long list of demands.

Aiah was a linguist. She could pick up on small differences that others might not notice. In comparing languages there were sounds a native speaker of one language may have a hard time with when speaking another language.

For example, Japanese persons learning English often are not able to produce the consonant /r/ for the simple reason that it doesn’t exist in Japanese. One of the shooters did something similar. They tried to pronounce a word in Russian but they were not a native speaker and the word was just slightly off.

“Fuck.”

Aiah ran. She ran down the stairs and over to the other side of the large dacha. She had to let Vladimir know. She almost ran into the two guards standing in the hallway blocking her way.

“I need to see Vladimir Vladimirovich now.”

Neither men said a word.

“I saw something on the television that may get missed. I need to see him.”

Again, Nothing.

“Oh for fucks sake.”

Turning swiftly as if she was going to walk away, she swung back around and delivered a solar plexus strike to one of the guards, then took off running. Aiah realized too late that it was probably not the smartest of moves. The other guard grabbed her around the waist and hauled her back to him. She twisted at just the right time and used the momentum from the man so that she landed a kick to the other man’s jaw. Landing poorly, she swiveled around too late. Both guards had their guns trained on her.

“Well that didn’t work out as well as I thought it would have.” She muttered.

From the commotion she caused the hallway was flooded with people.

“Aiah? What happened?” Dmitry Sergeyevich Peskov, Putin’s press secretary ignored the guards.

“Dima, thank god. Can you get a message to the President for me? One of the men is not a native Russian speaker. He made a mistake speaking. I caught it but barely. I think but am not positive that he is a native speaker of some of the Western-Germanic languages like English or German. My guess is German.”

Walking out of his office after his security team released him, Vladimir Putin was furious. If Aiah didn’t have access to him when it was needed, there was a problem. In his wake, no one said anything. Most people were afraid to even move. The television sounded overly loud in the still air.

Aiah turned pale hearing the words again on the television. She realized she knew the voice from long ago. “Vladimir. The man speaking is not Russian. His name is Karl Wilhelm Maximillian Ernst von Schaffer.”

“Do you know him?”

“Yes. He is the great-grandson of a Nazi that committed suicide in May of 1945. I don’t remember who his grandfather was. My parents may know. Karl’s birthdate is 20 January 1986. He was born in Dresden East Germany. His father was Joachim ‘Jochen’ von Schaffer who I believe was a member of the Stasi at some point.”

Karl was the man that deflowered Aiah.

Putin nodded sharply at the mention of Jochen von Schaffer. They had met a few times during his own time in East Germany. “My office Aiah.” Vladimir muted the television. “What just happened?”

“My apologies Vladimir Vladimirovich. I needed to get that information to you and your security wouldn’t cooperate.”

“You took out two of my security team?”

“No, I just hit one in the solar plexus and kicked the other in the face.”

“Just?” He shook his head. If there wasn’t such an emergency going on, he would have laughed. Only Aiah would even think to do such a thing. “How do you know this man?”

“We were friends years ago. And lovers.” She saw the look he gave her. Sighing, Aiah elaborated. “He was the one that took my virginity. Shortly after that we split apart. I returned to London and Karl got involved with some crazy right-wing neo-nazi groups.”

“I see.”

“I pulled him out of the groups a couple of times and tried to help but it never worked. I haven’t seen him in around seven years. I haven’t even spoken to him in the last five years. The last time I saw him he was going back to one of the groups he had been a part of. I begged him not to go.”

“You love this man?” He knew she wasn’t in love with Karl and never had been. They had spoken about that years ago. Outside of her cousin Logan, Karl had been her closest friend growing up.

“He was my best friend. Logan, Karl, and I were always together. I love him yes.”

Immediately, her phone started to vibrate.

“Your father?”

Looking at the phone, she nodded. “Yes.”

“Answer it and put it on speaker please.”

“Hi Dad. I have you on speaker. It’s just me and Vladimir in the room currently.” Aiah spoke in German.

“Where are you Aiah? Greetings President Putin.” Tobias sounded frustrated.

“Not in Moscow, not yet.”

“What do you know?”

“One of the men is Karl.”

“Which Karl?”

“Karl von Schaffer.”

“Damn.” Tobias sighed.

“Good morning Mr. Corrington. Do you know this man?”

“Yes. He was friends with Aiah and I knew his father well. Jochen von Schaffer had been part of the Stasi up until December of 1988. He defected with his wife and child to the west. I don’t know what caused him to defect. Karl was a gifted young man. His intelligence rivaled Aiah’s.” He sighed. “Something happened to him when he was about 13 years of age. Karl became hateful because of it. When you moved back to London Aiah, it got even worse. Karl didn’t have to worry about someone he cared about getting hurt.”

“Aiah mentioned Schaffer. I remember him vaguely.”

“Dad? What happened? I don’t remember this.”

“You were with your mother in London right after your 10th birthday when it happened Aiah. It was never spoken about. Karl was gang raped. The men that did it were all Ukrainian, Albanian, and Russian. The leader was also Russian. All of the men died in prison except the Russian. He wasn’t caught.”

“Were any of them Muslim Dad?”

“I don’t know.”

“Mr. Corrington, do you know any of their names?”

“Clarice does, one moment.”

“Good afternoon President Putin.” Clarice Corrington sounded tired. “I only remember one name. Asad Morozov. He was 35 at the time. Aiah sweetheart? Are you alright?”

“I think so.”

“I know its hard sweetheart. Your father and I both loved Karl like he was our own son. We still do.”

“Mrs. Corrington, do you know what year this was?” Vladimir sent the name off to the head of the FSB and wrapped his arm around Aiah’s waist, comforting her.

Clarice told him. The four of them spoke in detail about what they each knew before a knock on the door signaled that the jet was ready. It was only two hours later that they were at the Moscow Kremlin.

Everything was at a standstill.

“Sir? We have a line to the leader.”

“Which one is the leader?” Aiah asked.

The man looked at Aiah and then to the President. When Putin nodded the man answered. “Schaffer.”

“Permit me to talk to him – please?”

The agent scoffed. “Sir, this needs to go through the proper channels and from an experienced negotiator. Not a….”

“Not a what?” As always, Vladimir Putin remained calm.

“A-a-a translator.”

“I see.” There was a storm brewing in Putin’s blue eyes. “Aiah, why should I let you speak to him?”

“He knows me. He knows me well and he will listen to me.”

“No. It is too risky.” The agent answered.

“Vova. Please. I have known Karl since I was in nappies. He will listen to me. I know he will.”

Putin’s eyes narrowed down at his younger lover. She didn’t use the diminutive names around outsiders. She was begging him.

Putin nodded and told the security man to stay. “Chkalov, stay in here with her. You can coach Aiah if she needs it.”

“What?” The voice on the phone was rough with anger.

“Karl.” There was sadness in her voice.

“Who is this?”

“Aiah.”

“No. FUCK YOU. Do NOT try to play games with me. DON’T YOU DARE TRY TO USE HER AGAINST ME.”

“I’m not playing a game Karl. It’s me.”

“Prove it.”

“You remember the tree we used to climb? It was there that you gave me my first kiss. The highest branch we carved our initials together. I carved yours and you carved mine. I complained because your name had an extra letter and my hand was growing tired with that blunt little pocket knife you had. You were almost 16 and I was 13. I will call your phone if the number is the same. I will let you see me. I swear to you Karl, it’s me.”

“Where are you?”

She looked to the security agent and he had written out a single word. She told her old friend the truth. “I’m at the Kremlin.”

“You left me Aiah. You left me in Germany.” He accused.

Tears streamed down her cheeks leaving black rivers of mascara. “That is not true. You know it isn’t. I begged and pleaded with you to go to London with me. I wanted you out of Germany and somewhere safe. I begged and pleaded with you for years Karl.”

“I know Honigbiene. I know.” He called her Honeybee. It had been the nickname he gave her when they were children. She had been such a sweet girl until someone made her angry. Aiah had a vicious left hook. He used to tease her that she was the epitome of float like a butterfly and sting like a bee. “You dragged my arse out of that last shithole where I was staying.”

“I did.”

“They wanted to kill you because of it.”

“They could have tried. They wouldn’t have succeeded.”

“They would have killed you Aiah. I couldn’t have your blood on my hands. As long as I stayed away from you, they stayed away from you.”

Aiah had a temper and a very vicious one at that. She had to learn at an early age to control it and it was always under lock and key. That is until someone wanted to hurt her or someone she loved. Then all bets were off.

“Bullshit. Its bullshit and you know it. They were terrified. I kicked three of their so called ‘best Aryan warrior’ arses alone.”

She grimaced. The fourth pulled a large hunting knife on her. Aiah, in her fury, got the knife away from the arsehole and drove it through the palm of the man’s hand. The strike was so hard that the knife was buried deep in a tree with the guard touching the man’s skin.

“Stop it now Karl. No more excuses. It’s you and me talking. And we do not lie to each other, ever. We made that promise over twenty years ago. You quit answering my calls. I tried to find you but I was unable to.”

“Honigbiene, you don’t understand.”

“I know what happened. My father finally told me Karl. Why did I have to hear it from my father? Why didn’t you tell me?”

“I didn’t want you to look at me differently.” Even now, there was shame in his voice.

“You know better than that. I never have and never would. You were my best friend.”

“I LOOKED AT MY OWN SELF WITH DISGUST!! YOU WOULD HAVE BEEN DISGUSTED TOO!”

“If it had been me that those men attacked, would you have looked at me with disgust? You were who I ran to after that bastard out in California tried to do it to me.”

“Fuck you Aiah. I would have loved you no matter. I loved you more than anything in the world. You were the only person that mattered to me and I fucked that up.”

“You think I didn’t love you?”

Aiah closed her eyes briefly. The conversation was killing her. A flood of memories she didn’t even know she had hit her hard. Vladimir laid his hand on her shoulder, silently offering her comfort.

“Honigbiene……”

“And that’s not true. You loved your hatred more.”

“Answer your phone Aiah.”

She accepted the video chat and allowed him to see her tears.

“You look the same as the last time I saw you.”

“That’s because I was crying then too.”

“I know. Aiah, I’m sorry.”

“What are you sorry about?”

“Everything. Aiah, the bastards that killed my soul are now dead. I made sure of it. I have peace now.”

“I was at one of the mosques two weeks ago. They had made a lovely donation to one of the charities I work with. What if I had been there today instead? Or at one of the others? I am frequently at the mosques. The people I know from all four of them are wonderfully kind and giving people. They help me save lives. They help the children that have been hurt have a place to stay.”

Karl Schaffer began to cry. “Why did you have to be the one to call?”

“Because I have loved you since we were barely out of nappies.”

“Do you still love me?”

“Yes.”

“How can you?”

“How can I not? You were my partner in crime. You were the only person I knew that wasn’t related to me that would wait for me to come back to you when my parents would cart me off somewhere I didn’t want to go. How many nights did we share a bed and just laid there holding hands and talking? You were my first friend, my first kiss, my first in almost everything. You were the first person I loved.”

“I miss you Aiah.”

“I miss you too Karl. Remember when we took your motorcycle to Lake Koenigssee to go swimming?”

“Your father wanted to kill both of us.”

“Yes he did. I think me more than you and also my Mum for that bikini.”

“You were so beautiful. We got to spend most of that summer in the sun together. It was the best time I ever had. That was out first real kiss. That was the first time I touched you. That tiny white bikini with your tan? You looked like a girl out of Maxim, except you were the real deal. You were my first. You were my last.”

“Your last?”

“You were the first girl I loved. You are the only girl I loved. Are you still like you were back then?”

“How was I then?”

“Sweet. Kind. You always wanted to help others. I remember the kitten and puppy you found the last time I saw you. Someone fucked the dog up badly. Same with the kitten. You took them. That guy was ready to rip your head off and you kicked his ass.”

“I did kick his ass. Then I broke his wrists so he wouldn’t hurt anything else. Mum and Dad still have the cat and dog. They named the pup Apfel for you and the kitten Strudel for me. Mum said you always had the most beautiful rosy cheeks in the winter. She was reminded of an apple. They love you Karl.”

“Your mom used to say that we went together like apfel und strudel. Not after today they don’t.”

“Yes, they do. I spoke to them before I returned to Moscow. Mum said it herself. They loved you like you were their son. They still do.”

“Honigbiene…”

“Karl, just because you hated yourself after what happened doesn’t mean we hated you or we stopped loving you. Even now Karl, I love you dearly.”

“You shouldn’t.”

“No one gets to tell me who I should or should not love. That decision has always been my own.”

“No woman should be as strong as you’ve had to be.”

“That’s horseshit and you know it Karl Wilhelm. The only thing my sex matters for is that I cannot piss standing up and I can’t get anyone pregnant.”

“Is it true?”

“Is what true?”

“You are Putin’s secret lover.”

“I don’t believe I’m a secret but yes. He and I are lovers.”

“For how long?”

“Eleven years.”

“Do you love him Aiah? Are you in love with him?”

“Yes. I do and yes I am.”

“I bet your father had an apoplexy.” He laughed but the sound was bitter.

“Oh you have no idea.”

“Yes I do. Remember when your father caught us?”

“Yes. We were necking in the pool. Luckily for both of us it was dark out so he couldn’t see beneath the water.”

Aiah closed her eyes at the memory. She had been an ‘everything but’ virgin then. It was early August. The air was sweet with honeysuckle blossoms. He had been with a couple of girls by then but she wanted Karl to be her first.

Not realizing the time, Tobias returned home while she was exploring Karl’s cock beneath the water. There was something about how he felt that made her feel like a goddess. Karl was the first man she touched and saw naked. He was the first man to touch her intimately.

For three months they had been sneaking off together. Everything but. It almost made Aiah want to smile. He had fucked her ass so many times by then. It was almost an everyday occurrence. The same with oral sex. Getting proper birth control had proven difficult.

Sex was what tore them apart and she couldn’t understand why. It was like Karl was trying to prove something by fucking women. He wanted to do threesomes and even tried for a foursome. Except, it didn’t work. He could fuck Aiah but not the other woman. Karl would lose his erection when he would try. When she wanted to try with him and another man? It was over.

 “You were the best thing that ever happened to me. You were the only good in my life. I’m sorry Honigbiene. I am so sorry. Is Putin with you right now?”

“Yes.”

“I assume he can hear me.”

“Yes.”

“Mr. President, I have told the others to stand down. I have no right to ask you for anything, I know. All I ask is to please take care of Aiah. Love her and keep her safe. Like I should have done.”

Putin was about to say something when he was interrupted. 

“Aiah, for everything I put you through, I am sorry.”

Karl ended the video chat abruptly. He didn’t want her to see but there was still sound.

A single shot was fired.

She knew what he had done. The phone slid from her hand. In an instant it looked as if someone crushed her soul. Aiah dropped to her knees on the rug below. With arms crossing over her waist, she sobbed.

The following days found the Russian Federation and the world grieving for those lost.

The death toll was extensive. Almost 500 people died that day. Yet, many more lived. Aiah flat out refused to take any credit for the terrorists surrendering. It had been a simple stroke of luck was all. She had done nothing but talked to someone she once knew. Since it was only Vladimir, the agent, and her in the room, her part in stopping the attack from going further was kept silent.

She helped the survivors to rebuild their lives after the devastating losses. Aiah ended up donating over a billion rubles so that the Muslim community could rebuild their places of worship. The leader of the Chechen Republic found out what Aiah had done and he donated quite a bit himself. While grateful for the donation and help, Ramzan Kadyrov was someone that Aiah actually feared. She met with him briefly at the Kremlin.

Out of politeness, Aiah covered her hair for the meeting. “Ramzan Akhmadovich, I must thank you. Your gift to the Muslim community was much needed.”

“It was my pleasure. One Muslim is required to help his or her brothers or sisters. It was only right.”

“I recently saw your daughter’s fashion line, it was truly beautiful.”

“Thank you. I will tell her you said so. If I am not mistaken you have ordered something for yourself.”

“I will be going to Riyadh for one of the summits soon and I needed something acceptable, so yes.”

“I didn’t realize you were Muslim!”

“I’m not. I just…” Aiah hesitated. “I wouldn’t go to another country and not follow their customs simply because I could get away with it. That would be rude.”

Kadyrov grinned at her. “Have you read the Qur’an?”

“Yes, a couple of times actually.” The grin was horrific to her but Aiah knew that there was security surrounding them.

“Did you find comfort in it Aiah Tobiasonova?”

“Comfort, wisdom, and love. Which I find all three to be important.”

Vladimir picked the exact time to walk into the room and Aiah gave a silent thanks.

Standing, Aiah and Kadyrov both greeted him.

“Are you going to be late for your next meeting?” Vladimir asked her if she was uncomfortable.

“Yes Sir.” The coded verbiage worked well.

“If you do not mind Aiah, I need to speak with Ramzan Akhmadovich alone for a little while.”

“Of course. Ramzan Akhmadovich it was a pleasure to see you. Thank you for your generosity.” She left the two men to speak of other things.

She mourned for her childhood friend privately. The sadness in her pale green eyes worried Putin, especially when nothing seemed to be helping 6 weeks later. He knew he had to do something.

It was midmorning on a Wednesday and they were relaxing together after making love. Aiah’s eyes were closed while her cheek pressed to his chest. Vladimir kissed the top of her head.

“You have an appointment today?”

“Yes. I need a checkup with my doctor.”

“Is something wrong Kitten?”

“Not at all. It’s just the yearly thing that women need to do.”

“When will you be back?”

“My guess would be about 1300.”

“Pack up anything you would need for an overnight trip. You don’t need clothing. You have things there already.”

“Did I miss this on the schedule?”

“No Kitten. It came up last night after you were asleep. There are some people I want you to see.”

By 1400 they were on the jet and Aiah was fast asleep against his shoulder. It made Vladimir chuckle. Planes, trains, and automobiles put her to sleep quickly. He had teased her about it, of course. Aiah blamed her parents because when she was fussy as an infant they would take her for a drive or even place her on top of a washing machine. The vibrations would rock her to sleep.

When they landed, they were not quite at their destination. Climbing into one of the helicopters, she looked at Vladimir.

“Volodya, where are we going?”

“You will see.”

When they finally arrived at their destination they were in the Mediterranean Sea on the luxury yacht owned by Vladimir Putin.

 “People you want me to see, eh?”

“I do believe that the crew are considered people.” He grinned.

 “I cannot believe you went to all this trouble Volodya. Thank you.”

He picked her hand up and kissed it. “You were still so sad Aiah. I had to do something. I want my Kitten happy.”

“I am happy Vladimir. It is like you said, I love and I am loved. It just takes time.”

The following day was one spent together in the most leisurely ways possible. They had gone snorkeling that morning and had done a bit of fishing. They even played around on the pair of jet skis that were stored in the yacht.

The fishing surprised him. Aiah didn’t need help with anything.

“Where did you learn Kitten?”

“Dad.” She smiled. “He loves to fish. Dad and Uncle Joseph go finishing every chance they get. We did it quite a bit when I was still living with my parents. There was a place in Germany he loved to go.”

“I would have never suspected it.”

“When I was in Scotland I did quite a bit of fishing. I took it to the lady who owned the cottage.”

Aiah reclined next to him while doing a bit of reading. She was only wearing a pair of tiny string bikini bottoms. She had been sporting a light tan most of the year thus far and now it was even darker.

Turning over, the back of the bikini didn’t cover much of anything. Vladimir hadn’t seen the back yet. It was something she bought with her. The plan had been to give him a little show in their hotel suite. She didn’t realize that they would be on the yacht. The low waisted black Brazilian bikini bottoms tied at the sides.

“Aiah?”

“Yes Volodya?” She looked to him, smiling.

“What are you wearing?”

“A bikini.”

“Kitten, you have underwear with more fabric than what you are wearing. Given that some of your underthings fold up to the size of a postage stamp?”

“If you don’t like them I can take them off.” She stood up and pulled the strings at the sides. The scrap of material fluttered down on to the deck. “Better?”

Pulling her to him, he gave her a lascivious smile. “Much.”

They made love without a care to who might see. Aiah rode him hard and fast. The gentle bounce of her breasts captivate him as they always did. Hand and mouth stroked the sensitive flesh there. In the warm breeze her Volodya helped heal her heart after Karl.

Afterwards, they laid together touching and talking. Shared words of love and desire were only for each other to hear.

Aiah’s phone rang. The slightly bulkier satellite phone wasn’t one she used often but it was a necessity at times. Her work number was able to be forwarded to it. Looking at the number, she answered it. The call only lasted a couple of minutes.

“Is everything alright Kitten?”

“Yes. It wasn’t anything important.” She smiled through the lie and kissed her lover.

“We are going to need to dress for dinner this evening.”

“Oh. Formal?”

“There is already a dress for you picked out. I think you will like it.”

“You found a good personal shopper for me then?”

“No. I picked out everything Kitten.”

“Vladimir, why on earth did you go to so much trouble?”

“Aiah, I love you. You might be trouble but making sure you are happy isn’t. I enjoy making you happy.”

“I love you Volodya.” She kissed him softly but those pale green eyes held a spark that was utterly impish. “I’m trouble eh? How would you like to get into trouble again?”

They made love underneath the warm afternoon sun once more.

When their lips met in tender kisses they both pulled back breathless and smiling. Aiah’s eyes were wide as she looked into his beautiful blue grey eyes. Kissing her again, Vladimir took his time. He savored in the way her body felt against his. His little minx was warm and fragrant in the sun.

“I remember the first kiss we shared.” His voice was barely audible. “I thought it was the perfect kiss. I know better. Each one is better than the last.”

She kissed him. Her body arching up to press tight to his. One leg curled over his hip so she could hang on even tighter. The kiss spoke to his heart and soul. He found in Aiah something he had been searching for all along. She was more than just his beloved. The beautiful woman beneath him was his everything. Eleven years and he could still taste the innocence on her lush lips. 

Sliding out from beneath him, she pushed him to his back.

“I love you Volodya.” She straddled his hips.

Vladimir was ready for her again. When he tried to slide into her velvet wetness, she moved where he couldn’t. Grabbing her long tresses, she was pulled downwards so that they were face to face.

“Not yet.” And she kissed him again.  

Aiah slid off of him and while Vladimir reclined on his back she knelt to his side. Soft lips pressed to his chest while she inhaled the scent of her beloved. Gently she traced kisses downwards, taking her time and enjoying him fully. Kneeling between his feet, green eyes caught his attention. The smile she gave was devilish.

A kiss was pressed to the top of each foot and then at the arch on the underside. Aiah continued upwards making sure to touch every inch of his flesh. As the sun began to set on the horizon, she worshipped him in a different way.

“You are my sun and my moon. Only you will ever own that key to my heart and soul Vladimir.”

Only then did she allow him to take her fully.

They laid together for a long while after. The strokes of fingertips conveying the words that neither could utter quite yet. Gathering her in his arms, Vladimir couldn’t help but smile. He was a man in love. The blissful love shared was just what they both had needed.

Eventually they returned to their cabin to dress for dinner. Aiah took a hot shower and went about fixing her hair and makeup. When she stepped away from the vanity, he was gone. Frowning, it was unlike him to do so. Looking around she saw the garment bag laid out with a note tacked to it.

My Aiah,

I needed to attend to something.

If you would finish getting ready

and meet me on the deck for dinner?

I love you.

Opening the garment bag, Aiah smiled to herself. Rose gold and semi sheer, the dress was beautiful. Delicate material glittered under the lights of their room. Sliding the dress on, she almost giggled. Her back was exposed completely.

That was one of his preferences for her formal wear.

If Vladimir got agitated for whatever reason resting his hand against her bare skin soothed his savageness. There was little left to the imagination with the deep V of the neckline. The top was as it was supposed to be, snug. Thin straps went over her shoulders leaving her to feel bared and even exposed.

It left her hyperaware of everything. She would be at Vladimir’s mercy if he desired to touch her. With just that thought, she ached. Slipping the golden sandals on, she was ready. The only thing under the dress was Aiah herself.

Walking out on to the deck, Aiah paused.

He hadn’t heard her. Dressed in a tuxedo, Vladimir looked resplendent as he gazed out over the water. She couldn’t help but smile. For most, he cut an imposing figure. To her, he was simply majestic. She was reminded of the handsome leading men of the 1940s and 50s.

Vladimir Putin turned suddenly. He seemingly felt her staring. There was something about the smile he gave her that was both shy and regal at the same time. They stepped towards each other and he pulled her into his arms.

“You look beautiful Aiah.”

“I could say the same of you. I am in awe.”

“Of?”

“You my handsome love. Everything you have done to make this special. The list is endless.”

“It is special. You are special my Kitten.” His fingertips brushed down her spine.

“Thank you.” She blushed. “The feeling is mutual. My beloved Volodya, you are magnificent. Thank you.”

“Why are you thanking me?”

“For making me yours.”

He hadn’t planned on saying anything yet. He had planned on dancing with her beneath the moon and stars first. Vladimir felt unable to wait. He had to do it now. There wasn’t a way he could wait and not go mental.

“Aiah, you are the love of my life. There has never been a woman that can compare to you. I want you. Not just in our bed, I want to spend the rest of my life with you. Will you marry me?”

 

 

 

Chapter Text

Aiah’s eyes widened upon hearing the words. “How did you find out?” She was surprised but it was a happy surprise. “Vova…..” She slid her hands over his shoulders. “Times are different. You don’t have to ask me to marry you to protect my honor or anything of the like.”

Vladimir swallowed hard. It wasn’t the reaction he had expected. “This is a no then.”

“No, it’s not a no. I am simply saying it isn’t necessary.”

“I see.”

“We have been together now for 11 years Volodya. I’m not going anywhere. I know your thinking tends to be a bit different than mine. I would rather proposal be because that is what you want rather than you feel you have to or need to.”

“Aiah.” He snapped with feelings hurt. “What are you talking about?”

She took a step back with her hand flying to her mouth. Aiah realized her mistake. “Oh my god. You don’t really know do you? I thought you had found something out. Yes. Oh my goodness. Yes, Vladimir. Yes. Oh yes! I will marry you. I was going to tell you tonight.” She laughed softly and shook her head. “Volodya, I thought you were proposing because I’m pregnant.”

“I proposed because I love you. Not because there is a chance you may get pregnant. I want you with me always. Everywhere.” He stopped abruptly as the realization of what she said hit him fully. ”That was the call earlier wasn’t it?” His voice sounded hoarse.

She blushed and nodded her head. “That is why I had the doctor appointment. I thought I might be. The first test gave mixed results so they ran a blood test as well. I didn’t tell you because if it was a false alarm…….”

“You are going to make me a father and a husband again?”

“Yes.” She bit her lip and looked to him. “I would love to be your wife.”

He took her hand gently between his two. A silent prayer was said as a ring was slipped on to Aiah’s finger. He would have bought her the most glorious ring that money could buy. Instead, he took her style into consideration. It was a near perfect two carat diamond ring with another carat’s worth of smaller diamonds in a platinum setting. He had handpicked each stone.

“There are two stones on the inside of the ring. Those are important to me. One is my birthstone and the other is my mother’s. My father had given it to her with the family birthstones in it – his, hers, mine, and my two brothers. Mama’s birthstone is the same as yours. I wanted you to have something of my past Aiah as we go forward with our future.”

Throwing her arms around her fiancé, she whispered softly in his ear. “Thank you. I love you Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin. I love you with all my heart.”

“I love you Aiah.”

He led her over to the table. His hand pressed against the muscled plane of her flat belly. He loved children. He had been well loved as a child and even though they had little in the way of material goods. Vladimir felt having that love was what made him who he was today.

“Do you know when? How far are you along?” He was thrilled.

“By my records I am about 8 weeks along. So come winter you will be a father again. My guess is December or January.  Assuming my father doesn’t try to strangle you.” She chuckled. “Luckily you have security.” Her green eyes sparkled with merriment.

“I have something to show you.” He pulled out the chair for her. When she was comfortable, he handed her his phone. “Hit play.”

The video came to life in seconds. Her mother and father were seated with Logan and Noah. On the other side of them were Uncle Joseph and Aunt Abigail. 

“Aiah, my beautiful and wise daughter. I know I have not been the best father but I can say that no matter I have loved you with all my heart. If you are watching this that means that you are engaged to be married.” Tobias’ voice was solemn. “I didn’t like it very much when I found out that my daughter was involved with a much older man. I am sure you remember that.” He smiled a touch wryly. “Once we knew, I could not help but see how he treated you. When we almost lost you….” Tears welled up in Tobias’ eyes.

Clarice took her husband’s hand and spoke softly. “We almost lost you Aiah, which was the most frightened your father and I had ever been. Your fiancée took charge of the situation and not only made sure you were safe and sound but made sure that we had what we needed. What we needed was you darling. When we arrived in Moscow he was gracious and kind.”

Joseph Bryce spoke softly to his goddaughter. “Before you two went public with your relationship, Toby and I had a long conversation with your fiancée Aiah. We both appreciated that. He was honest and candid in regards to your feelings for each other. We may have political differences but there is no doubt that you are very much loved.”

Aiah said nothing and just watched her loved ones. Raising her hand, she held Vladimir’s.

“President Putin, the first time I met you I wanted to tear your arm off.” Logan spoke in Russian. “The way you looked at Aiah made me angry. And when she left because she wanted away from you? Hell hath no fury like a Texan.”

Logan’s gave the camera a grin before starting once more.

“When Aiah was taken, I helped go through some of the surveillance video to see if I recognized people. I saw the look on your face for a second time and knew I had misread your body language. You were in so much pain. I’m sorry. I was trying to protect Aiah when you came over.

Again, I am so very sorry. When you helped with getting my cousin back safe and sound? I knew you loved her. When you permitted me to help you surprise Aiah, I knew that you two loved each other.”

One by one they all took the time to speak until Tobias started again. “Sweetheart, I want you to know something. I received a call from your intended late one afternoon. I was surprised to say the least. Mr. Putin asked my permission to propose to you.”

Claire smiled. “And mine.”

“And mine.” It was Logan.

The echoing voices of Noah, Joseph and Abby followed.

“Sweetheart, he asked each of us. And each of us said yes, he had our permission.” Tobias gave a genuine smile. “I would like to welcome you to the family Vladimir.”

All six of the family members yelled at once while a burst of confetti was thrown in to the air. “WELCOME TO THE FAMILY VLADIMIR!!”

She smiled brightly with happy tears in her eyes. When the screen went to black and Aiah reached to switch the video off.

“Wait Kitten.”

It took about 30 seconds and the view changed to Noah and Logan.

“Psst. Aiah. Psst.” It was Noah’s voice in a dark room

The view switched to Logan. “Aiaaaaaah!! You know we could have a double wedding! Think about it.” He wiggled his brows before ending the video.

“My family is calling you Vladimir. I never thought I would see this day. It doesn’t bother you that they are informal like that?”

“No, it doesn’t bother me. It made me very happy Aiah.” He kissed her lips with tender affection.

The dined on delicious food, vegetarian for Aiah and fish for Vladimir. They danced under the stars for hours. This night was for them and them alone. In the wee hours of the morning they were at the swim platform looking out over the tranquil sea.

Aiah was laying on the deck with her head on Vladimir’s lap. They were watching the sun begin to rise. Out of nowhere she smiled and chuckled.

“What’s so funny Kitten?” He toyed with her wildly curling hair.

“At this time yesterday my world was completely different. And in a blink of an eye, it all changed.”

“You are happy with this change, yes?”

“Gloriously, deliriously happy.”

“I am too.” He looked thoughtful for a moment. “What sort of wedding do you wish to have?”

“Small, quiet, with only close friends and family.”

“We will have to make a public statement.” He stroked a single fingertip from her throat down the deep V of the dress.

“Do we?” She looked upwards to him. “If we are wearing our wedding rings and are seen together isn’t that a statement in and of itself?”

Thinking over her words. “Perhaps. This will have to be a conversation with Peskov.” His strong blunt fingers rested over her heart. “I have something else for you Kitten.”

“Oh?” She sat up.

Reaching into the inner pocket of his dinner jacket, he handed her an envelope. Aiah looked at it and opened it. It was a Russian passport.

“Vladimir! Thank you.” Aiah was beaming when she kissed him.

“Many things will be easier now that you are a citizen. This one is not actually legal. You will need to sign the proper one when we return to Moscow. I ran into a small bit of trouble getting this for you.”

 “The man who has been the President or Prime Minister of the Russian Federation for 20 years had a problem getting his English tart citizenship?” Aiah was trying very hard not to laugh.

“Since this was going to be a surprise I couldn’t have you pass a fluency exam. Several of the GAMI people were having a meeting that day at the Kremlin. When it is done, I ask for the highest ranking of them to come to my office. I am talking to this man and he said no, you had to pass it first. You know how much I enjoy being told no. Dima is in the room with me and he is snickering like a boy.

My interpreter has to pass a language fluency test. Dima pulls out his phone and starts showing this man video footage of you speaking Russian. Then he pulls up the children’s show where you were writing in Russian, English, Arabic, and German. The man gets starts turning purple in the face. He finally acquiesced to my wishes.”

“A true admiral of the Swiss navy.”

“English sentiment in Russian doesn’t translate well Kitten.” He kissed her softly.

“It means a self-important little man. I either learned it from my mum, my dad, or possibly both.” Aiah looked thoughtful. “I am no longer your English tart.”

“No, now you are my Russian harlot.”

“I supposed I best get to work like a proper harlot. Care to join me?”

Standing, he helped her up as well. “I thought you would never ask.” He smacked her arse playfully just to hear her laugh.

The remaining days went by quickly and soon they were returning to Moscow and their regular lives. The break had been exactly what they had needed.

Aiah was on the phone scheduling her doctor appointments through the next few months. It was easier to make them all in advance. Aiah’s day to day schedule didn’t change all that much now. Vladimir was booked out months and sometimes over a year in advance. And his schedule was what she followed.

She hung up the phone.

“When do you want me to go with you?”

Not even realizing he was in the room, Aiah jumped and started laughing. “Trying to scare me half to death Vova?”

“No.” He smiled. “Mostly no.”

It made her laugh.

“Which appointments do I get to go with you?”

“Any that you wish to. We can find out if we are having a boy or a girl in about two more months.”

“I would like to go to all of them Kitten. I know that is not possible but I will go to as many as I am able.” He took a seat across from her.

“I know. Vladimir! Let me give you my seat!”

“Kitten, this is your office.”

“That I have because of you.”

“Exactly, so I am telling you to stay in your seat.”

“What if I wish to sit on your lap?”

“Tricky Kitten. Very tricky. Peskov will be in here shortly to go over things with you.”

“You think I won’t sit on your lap in front of Peskov?” She grinned. “Volodya, I suck your cock in front of anyone besides my father. That’s only because I want you with me and not in a hospital bed somewhere. I will still get to work with you, yes?”

“Of course. I want only the best and you are the best.”

Aiah laughed. “I believe your opinion may be biased Volodya.”

“Bah, never. Now, we need to talk about the wedding. What would you like to do?”

 “I really don’t want anything large. I was thinking perhaps out on the grounds at Novo-Ogaryovo. I am unfamiliar with how that works with the ZAGS office. I don’t know if you want something more with the Orthodox Church.”

He started to say something when Aiah jumped up and ran to the next room. Most women have a touch of morning sickness but Aiah tended to get sick in the middle of the day. She didn’t even realize he was in the bathroom with her until she felt the cold washcloth on the back of her neck.

“Do I need to send for someone Aiah?” He was concerned.

“No. Thank you Volodya. Just morning sickness in the afternoon.” She washed her mouth out with baking soda several times before brushing her teeth.

The phone on Aiah’s desk beeped. “Dr. Corrington, Dmitry Peskov is asking to see you.” Looking up, she saw the nod from Vladimir. “Send him in please.”

The three of them spoke for several hours. She had never thought about exactly how much her life would be changing. There wasn’t an expectation for the First Lady of the Russian Federation and Aiah was quite thankful for that. Yet, she would need a press secretary, chief of staff, staff, and everything else.

Aiah was feeling somewhat overwhelmed.

It only got worse when Alexey Vasiliev came to call and Vladimir had to see to something. Studying him silently, Aiah had only met the FSO commander once or twice. The man began to speak after properly greeting her. She let him drone on for several minutes after he continued to speak over her time and time again.

“Stop.” Aiah’s voice was sharp. “I do not appreciate that you are unwilling to listen to any questions that I might have.” She cocked her head to the side. “Unlike most women that you may come in contact with Alexey Vladimirovich, I don’t fear you one iota. You have been in my office for five minutes and already you have insulted me twice.”

“How has he insulted you Aiah?” It was not her Volodya that spoke but instead it was the President of the Russian Federation. He had just stepped back in.

Both Aiah and Vasiliev stood immediately.

“Aiah, please sit.”

When Aiah sat back down, Vasiliev went to do the same. “Alexey Vladimirovich, I did not say for you to sit.” Putin’s voice was quiet. “How has he insulted you Aiah?”

“He insulted my intelligence by refusing to answer basic questions and thinking I will go along with whatever he says because I am a piece of arm candy that knows nothing. And then there is the fact that he refuses to look me in the eye but has no problem staring at my breasts.”

“Yes, I would say those are both insults Aiah.” Putin’s voice was calm and quiet. “Have I done something to wrong you Alexey? Is this why you are willing to treat my Aiah poorly.”

Alexey Vasiliev turned a sickly shade of grey.

Switching to German, she smiled beautifully. “Vladimir, my preference is to have the two men in charge of my welfare currently continue to do so. I believe they both have the experience to handle things well.”

“Alexey Vasiliev, you are dismissed. You and I? We will talk later.” The man almost ran out of Aiah’s office with naught but a hasty goodbye.

 “Don’t do anything to him please Vladimir?”

“He has done a good job so I will not fire him but what he did in here? That will never be tolerated. His being rude to you is an insult to me. He will be disciplined in a few days.”

“You are going to put him off for a bit?”

“Of course. It teaches a very valuable lesson.” He leaned down and kissed her tenderly. “Do you truly want Vasili and Kolya in charge of your security?”

“Yes, outside of you they know me the best.”

Little by little everything was falling into place. With the help of others, Aiah managed to put together everything that she needed. She would remain as one of the head interpreters for the office of the President and she would do the work of the First Lady.

This was going to enable her to do more with the charities that she had already worked with and was also helping to end the orphanages system. Children needed to be in a more normalized situation in order to move from one part of life to the next without as many problems. Fostering seemed like a better idea.

However, Aiah was well aware of the abuses that went hand in hand within the foster home system.

The most difficult day was when Vladimir walked into her office with legal documents. He wanted them both to sign a prenuptial agreement.

“Why? Vladimir, I trust you.”

“Aiah, I want to do this for a very specific reason.”

“Oh?”

“If something were to happen to me, I want you and our child to be safe and protected.”

“Vladimir, we are both extremely wealthy.”

“There is also the part that I continued over from your contract.”

“What?” She didn’t understand.

“If I am not faithful to you, I want you to have the ability to walk away if you so choose.”

“Absolutely not.” She folded her arms over her chest and looked directly into his eyes.

“Yes. Kitten, listen please. I need to prove to you that I want no other woman.”

“Vladimir, I do not want you staying faithful out of fear.”

He caressed her cheek softly. “It’s not out of fear. It’s because you are priceless. I promised I would remain faithful and I have. You are willing to take a risk for me. I am willing to take a risk for you.”

The papers were signed by both of them, much to Aiah’s displeasure.

It was 2100 in the evening when they finally sat down to a light supper of soup and salad. Vladimir sat at the head of the table and Aiah was to his left. It was his preferred informal arrangement so that he could touch her.

“Aiah.”

Looking up upon hearing her name, she smiled.

“Unbutton your blouse.” He went back to eating.

She complied without question. That alone made Vladimir happy. She knew what he wanted. It took her a few moments to undo each of the tiny black pearl buttons. When she finished, Aiah went back to eating. He stared at her for a moment before snagging the collar of the blouse. Yanking it down, it exposed her further.

“Much better. What is that you are wearing Aiah?”

“My brassiere?” Green eyes lifted to meet blue ones.

The black lace quarter cup bra was both demure and incredibly sexy. The lace stopped right at the bottom of her areola, exposing her nipples. The silk of her blouse must have rubbed across them most of the day. She would have been kept aroused by it. It also meant those tips were sore.

Vladimir smiled. “Yes, your brassiere. Of everything you own, why that one?”

“In case you were able to sneak off for a few moments……” She bit her lip and looked up at him again. “I wanted to surprise you.”

“Are you finished eating?”

“Yes.”

“Good. Get up Aiah.”

There was no hesitation when she pushed back from the table and stood before him. Vladimir could see the blush on her cheeks and the slight tremble to Aiah’s shoulders. It made him smile. She was embarrassed. There were in the public area part of the large estate. That meant everything could be seen by security.  

“Remove your skirt Kitten.”

Once more, there was no hesitation from her. Reaching back she unzipped the skirt. Tugging it down, she stepped out of it and placed it next to the discarded blouse.  Heeled peep toe pumps and her undergarments were all that she wore. Dipping his head, Vladimir suckled upon one nipple and then the other. She cried out quietly. They were sore, just as he suspected. Blunt fingers dipped between her legs only to find her slick and wet. Embarrassed as she was, Aiah was aroused.

Running his fingers over the straps of the tiny thong, he smiled. “Is this for me too?”

“Yes Volodya.”

“Why?”

Aiah trembled. It took her a moment to find her voice but when she did it was barely audible. “I know you like me dressed in pretty things for you.”

“That I do Kitten. That I do. And you look very pretty. Bend at the waist my love.”

When Aiah did, he grabbed her long hair and used it as a leash. Walking her through their home just like that, he paused right outside of their bedroom. “You know every one of the security men saw you like this. Subservient, submissive, ready to be fucked and used by me.” He grabbed her jaw. “They know what comes next my Kitten. They know that I will make you scream. They have heard it countless times. Every one of those men knows that you are my whore.”

Swallowing, Aiah’s eyes widened. The thought had really never occurred to her before. Security was always there and always watching. They saw everything. Everything. Humiliation burned her skin. Trying to swallow again and finding herself unable to. Her mouth was dry as a desert and every bit of moisture was between her thighs.

“Stay there while I get ready.”

The men and women not only saw but heard how she would beg for him to fuck her arse. They saw that she would debase herself at his feet. She could feel her cheeks burn with the humiliation of it all. What they couldn’t see was that she was aroused as well. It fed her exhibitionist side.

Green eyes studied the pattern of the rug beneath her feet. She was mortified that he was doing all this in the parts of their home that was closely monitored. It had always been out of sight, out of mind. But even now, arousal throbbed painfully between her thighs.

“Aiah.”

Looking up at the sound of her name it gave her a second to study her fiancé. Naked, he was laying back on their bed with pillows propping him up. With a hand wrapped around his cock, he was stroking himself absently. Aiah couldn’t help herself, an audible whimper slipped passed her parted lips.

“Come here.”

Trembling, Aiah couldn’t tear her eyes away from him. Breathing rapidly, she fell to her knees. There was no way she could walk to him. Not after seeing that. No…..it was impossible. She crawled on all fours to their bed.

Chest tightening, she wanted to cry. However, it wasn’t because she was upset or in pain. No, in moments like these it was the absolute opposite. In these moments, Aiah knew without question that she was loved and cherished. The enormity of just how much she was loved by Vladimir with the purest of joys.

These were not games to be played with just anyone. You had to trust the other person fully. Vladimir would break her down until she felt utterly shattered. It was a catharsis for them both.

Kneeling on his side of the bed, she waited for him to speak. But, he didn’t. Not at first. Vladimir touched her cheek with just the tips of his fingers. He traced the contours of her face.

“My Aiah. You were the most alluring woman I had ever laid eyes on when you were just 20 years old. And you have only become even more exquisite with each passing day. However, you were correct. The physical beauty is secondary to the woman that you are.” Tracing a fingertip downwards, he brushed over her lips and then chin to wrap his hand around her throat. “Tonight, I am going to make you cry. I want you to hurt. I want you to feel the most beautiful pain. Then and only then will I give you what you want. Do you consent my love?”

“Yes. Always.”

“Take off those heels and climb up on the bed. If you want me to stop, what do you say?”

“Peregrine.”

He kissed her lips and smiled. “Good Kitten.”

Laying on her back, slender wrists were cuffed together with a short leash attached beneath the headboard. Heavy silk covered her eyes. His gaze followed every inch of her supine body. As much as he wanted to allow his beast to walk free, there was still that part of him that wished to love her as gently as possible. Luckily, with her, he could do both.

“I love you Aiah.” Lips brushed against her ear.

“Volodya, my Volodya. I love you.”

“You are ready?”

“Yes. Very.”

He slid the ear plugs in each of her ears.

He remembered the first time he found one of those pulp magazines. There wasn’t much in the way of adult publications back in 1967 Leningrad, at least that he knew of.  Or could afford. He had memorized the stories in that raggedy magazine word for word by the time he went to university.

Vladimir looked upon his lover with appreciation and with love. Sex was never spoken about when he was a young man or as an older man. Even with Alina it wasn’t spoken about. At 15 he knew what excited him because of that magazine. Yet, at 55 he still didn’t know how to ask for it and not sound like a pervert.

With Aiah, he didn’t have to worry.

He touched right below her bound wrists. Fingers traced along the soft skin slowly, exploring her body at his leisure. Her head moved towards his hand to nuzzle against him when he stroked through her curls. Already she began to struggle against the binding that held her. When Vladimir heard it, he smiled. She was panting.

Lips were soft along her jaw. And even thought she couldn’t hear it, he whispered words of love and desire against her skin. Aiah’s back arched to press to her lover. Vladimir licked, stroked, kissed and touched over every inch of her that he could – except where she wanted it the most. He shoved the lace thong to the side, exposing her. Kisses peppered across the smooth skin and down the seam of her sex. He caught the sweet musk of her arousal but did nothing to bring her any sort of relief.

Aiah cried out and tried to grind up against him to no avail. The kisses began to trail up her body to her breasts. Laying over her, Vladimir teased her already overly sensitive and sore nipples. Cursing she tried to throw him off of her.  Hips bucked up and twisted. She tried to turn over to her stomach and nothing worked.

She was laid out for his pleasure.

Perhaps if she wasn’t bound, there would have been a good chance she could have thrown him off. Now? She was at his mercy. And he was feeling less than merciful about ending her ‘torture’.

His cock lay against her belly, hard and ready. She could feel his precum on her stomach, he knew.  Laying a hand to her cheek, he shushed her silently. Whimpering softly, she settled back down. He kissed her full lush mouth gently.

His reward was a string of cursing that was in English.

Chuckling, Vladimir knelt over her breasts. Brushing his thumb across her lips, Aiah knew to open her mouth. With his hand tangling in her hair, he forced himself into her mouth and throat fully. He didn’t give her any time to get used to his cock. This was about him for now. And right now he wanted her mouth.

The little harlot gagged and choked. Drool ran down her chin. It didn’t stop him.

Aiah tried to move on her own and it gained her a slap against her cheek. It wasn’t hard but it was enough that she stopped. She let him guide her and use her mouth. Rivers of mascara ran out from beneath the blindfold.

This time it was Vladimir that threw his head back and howled into the night. Pulling back, he came on her face and lips. Soaking her with his own pleasure. When she licked her lips, he slapped her cheek once again.

Crying out sharply, his little harlot twisted in the ties that bound her to their bed.

He loved these moments with her. Aiah didn’t know what a difference she made in his life. It wasn’t that he didn’t tell her. No, he told her as often as he could how much he not only loved her but appreciated her presence in his life. Just as he had no true understanding of what it felt like to be pregnant, she didn’t understand how she was exactly what he had always needed.

In the early morning hours just before dawn, Vladimir had taken her as far as he could. The agony of need and want left Aiah shaking in the dark of their bed. There they found peace and pleasure together. Covered in cum and cold sweat, she looked happy. Blissfully happy.

He helped her up and took her to the bath. Vladimir chuckled softly when she gave him a grumpy look. He knew that she didn’t want to move. In a large bubble bath, he bathed his Kitten gently and relaxed in the warmth with her.

“How do you feel Kitten?”

“Loved. I love you Volodya. I love you with all my heart and soul.”

“Thank you.”

“Whatever for?” She opened her eyes.

“Allowing me to love you. Loving me in return. Permitting me to break down your walls and strengthen them with my own. Being mine. Everything.” Tilting her chin upwards with a touch of his hand, he kissed her lips.

She returned the kiss, smiling. “In not quite three weeks we will be married.”

“I know. Then you will be utterly mine.”

“I already am Vova. I already am.”   

“I know.”

 

Standing in front of the mirror naked, she frowned. In the fourth month of her pregnancy, there was a slight bump showing. Finally, she could see that she was pregnant. Aiah wasn’t sure how she felt about that. It was just surreal.

“Not dressed Kitten, is something wrong?” He had walked in to their bedroom to select a different watch.

“Wrong? No. Just strange.”

Pulling her towards him, Vladimir smiled. “What is so strange?”

“I can tell that I am pregnant.

He smiled. “Only slightly. And only because I know what to look for.” His hand pressed against the bump. “Everyone should be arriving within the next half hour. Have you told any of them that you are pregnant?”

“No. I wanted it to be a surprise.”

“My Aiah, I have no doubt that it will be a surprise.”

“You know, it will only take me about three minutes to slide into my clothes. That gives me 27 minutes to suck your cock.”  She gave him a lascivious smile.

“Naughty Kitten.” He smiled and unzipped his trousers. “Get on your knees my love.”

They stood outside when the guests started to arrive. Aiah’s parents, Noah and Logan, and President Bryce and Abigail Bryce were the first to arrive. They were followed by Violine and Nastasia Tikhonova Dmitry and Svetlana Medvedev, Aleksandr Nikolaichev and his wife, Sergei Roldugin and his wife Elena, and Sergei Chemezov began to trickle in. All in all there were only about 20 guests for the evening. There would be a few more at the wedding, but not many.

In the US it would be considered the rehearsal dinner. There just hadn’t been a rehearsal. It was unnecessary for the simple wedding. Aiah wore a navy silk shirt dress for the evening and a pair of sandals. Vladimir was in trousers and an oxford shirt.

The warm summer evening was perfect for an outdoor gathering of friends and family. After a lush dinner and desserts, everyone sat around talking.

“Sweetheart, you didn’t eat much. Are you getting nervous?” Clarice asked her daughter.

“Actually, I’m not nervous Mum. I had a protein shake earlier. It was much more filling than I realized.”

“Oh, those are working out for you then? Good. I will make sure they are always available for you Kitten.” Somehow Vladimir managed not to laugh.

Roldugin called out to his old friend. “Vovka, do you think your Aiah would sing for us?”

“Ask her yourself.” Vladimir kissed his soon to be wife’s cheek.

“Aiah will you entertain us?” Roldugin grinned at the younger woman.

“That’s alright, I don’t wish to make anyone’s ears bleed. Besides, you and your Elena should be the ones to perform! You two are professionals!” Sergey Roldugin was a cellist and his wife Elena was an opera singer.

“Aiah Giselle! I paid good money for your lessons!” Tobias teased his daughter.

 “Okay, okay, okay. Let me think of something I know the lyrics to.”

 

I saw him in the news just yesterday

He was speaking about how the world is in a crossroad

With a man like him it's easy to stay home and to go visiting

And now I want to meet someone just like Putin.

 

Someone just like Putin, full of strength

Someone just like Putin, who doesn't drink

Someone just like Putin, so that he won't offend me

Someone just like Putin, so that he won't run away.

Someone just like Putin, full of strength

 

Immediately Aiah switched into a different song.

 

It's amazing how you can speak right to my heart

Without saying a word you can light up the dark

Try as I may I could never explain what I hear when you don't say a thing

 

The smile on your face lets me know that you need me

There's a truth in your eyes saying you'll never leave me

A touch of your hand says you'll catch me if ever I fall

Now you say it best when you say nothing at all

 

All day long I can hear people talking out loud

but when you hold me near you drown out the crowd

Old Mister Webster could never define

what's being said between your heart and mine

 

The smile on your face lets me know that you need me

There's a truth in your eyes saying you'll never leave me

A touch…

 

Everyone, including Vladimir laughed hard at the first half. The interpreters for the English speaking guests were having the hardest time not laughing. When she went directly into the other song, she looked into the eyes of the man she loved.

“Someone like me Aiah?”

“No. Not someone like you. I want you and you alone.”

Roldugin applauded. “You do have a lovely voice Aiah. That was most unexpected.”

“Thank you.”

“Aiah?”

“Yes Mum?”

“How many nicknames are there for Vladimir?” Clarice and Aiah spoke in German so that Vladimir would understand.

“Are you asking about my Vladimir or the name Vladimir in general? I normally just use Vova or Volodya. Sergei uses Vovka. I know of fifteen, I think fifteen, versions.”

“Just in general. Russian is very colorful, sweetheart.”

“It is Mum. It’s a beautiful language.”

Vladimir began to speak. “I know some of you asked if there was a significance to the date we chose. There is but probably not for the reasons you might believe. When I met Aiah for the very first time it was because she was working with a group of businessmen from the United States here in Moscow. I wasn’t scheduled to meet with them for a couple of more hours but a meeting had finished earlier than expected. I went to the room where the men were speaking to others. Again, I wasn’t supposed to be there.

Most of the people were somewhat startled by my abrupt appearance. This includes people that have worked with me for several years. One person wasn’t. Aiah finished interpreting for two men and she acknowledged my presence with a warm and sweet smile. She knew the protocol to not approach me without invitation in this setting. I suppose you learned that from your father or from your godfather?”

“Yes, and my mother.”

“The men she was working with were very rude to Aiah and she quit on the spot. I caught her in the hallway as she was leaving and we spoke for a few moments. She apologized for wasting my time.

I had seen what had happened and was angry. We were not going to be doing business with these men that would treat a woman so poorly. Business in Russia is different from in the US or the UK. There are rituals that are observed with business cards for example. That meant my staff had Aiah’s.

Two days later I found myself in London. I had a meeting with Prime Minister Brown that day and would be having another the following day. I called Aiah asking if she would like to have a drink. She told me she would stop by as soon as she could politely leave an event she was attending. When she arrived?”

He paused and looked at her. Taking Aiah’s hand he kissed the back of it, remembering that night.

“She was so beautiful I couldn’t think of a single word to say, I busied myself with opening a bottle of wine instead. She was in a gown of black silk and looked comfortable as can be lounging around in the sitting room of the suite I was in.

We talked, we laughed and she asked me to dance.” Vladimir chuckled softly as Aiah was turning a rather fantastic shade of red. “Aiah was beautiful, witty, and fun. I don’t believe I ever just sat and enjoyed another person like I was able to with her. Truly, it had been a joy. And I was a fool.”

He took a drink of water. There was a hint of sadness in his eyes.

“I asked Aiah why she wasn’t in movies or magazines. I meant it as a compliment. Instantly, she wished me a good night and went to leave. I couldn’t understand why. To this day, I remember exactly what she said.

I pride myself on being someone that is more intelligent, interesting, and complex than might be assumed. Most people do not look past my appearance, which is a shame. I can assure you that the inside is far more interesting than the outside.

I was utterly shocked. There was part of me that was immediately angry. I wasn’t angry at Aiah but myself. I knew I disappointed her. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to understand how. The following day I was taking in some matches at Wimbledon with Prime Minster Brown and I spotted Aiah across the way. She was talking to a friend. 

One of the men that worked at the Embassy told me it was rumored that Aiah was a courtesan. The man said ‘Who could resist a beautiful young lady that is a paramour to the royal, noble and wealthy men of society?’ I knew why she had gotten upset with me. I was so ashamed then and I am ashamed now. Luckily, my Aiah has a forgiving heart.

To these men, she was nothing but a pretty girl. Never mind that she could speak 30 languages. Never mind that she was more politically savvy than all of them put together. That included the British Prime Minister. I understood what I did wrong then and there. This glorious woman that I would come to love was correct. The inside is far more interesting.”

“Volodya, I love you.” She leaned in and kissed the corner of his mouth.

“I love you my Aiah. Tomorrow is the anniversary of the first time I asked for forgiveness. I have apologized for much over the years. Each time, I learned a valuable lesson. Thank you my love. Thank you for giving us another chance, twice. Thank you for agreeing to be my wife. Most of all, thank you for all the love we have shared.”

Aiah stared at him wordlessly. Her knuckle pressed against her lips as she tried very hard not to cry. Clarice handed her daughter a handkerchief.

“Volodya….” She could only whisper his name.

Pushing his chair back, he knelt next to her chair. Vladimir Putin kissed Aiah’s tears away until he had her laughing again. While public displays of affection weren’t common in public, this was their home.

Tobias Corrington sat watching the man he had disliked for over twenty years. He was almost certain that their paths crossed sometime in the late 1980s in East or West Germany. The USSR had always been the enemy to the American people, Tobias believed.

His wife and daughter never shared the same sentiment. Neither were American and they both had spent their formative years being shuffled around all over the world. Still, Tobias read about Moscow and St. Petersburg in the 1990s via security reports while he was still in the military. He remembered reading brief mentions of a Vladimir Putin.

The same man that was going to be his son-in-law in just a handful of hours. A man that was older than he was. If it wasn’t abundantly clear when Aiah had been taken that Putin loved his daughter, it was now. It had been a bitter pill to swallow, at first. Now, he realized that a man he hated loved Aiah deeply and it was obvious that she returned the sentiment.

Joseph Bryce elbowed Tobias with a grin. “You think we can get better pricing if you, Clarice, me and Abby take Russian classes together?” It was his way of saying once more they were happy for the couple.

“Would you like to tell the proposal story Kitten?”

“Yes. Mum? If you and Uncle Joe would make sure Dad stays in his seat please?” Her eyes twinkled with mischief.

“Done.” Joseph grinned at his goddaughter.

“Of course sweetheart.” Clarice Corrington laughed softly. She knew how stubborn her husband could be.

“We were in Sochi when everyone went on high alert due to the happenings at the mosques in Moscow.  We were at the dacha there when Vladimir was alerted. I was watching the television in absolute horror. Then I realized something. The man speaking was not Russian. I took off running down to Vladimir’s office. The guards wouldn’t let me pass. I understood that but I couldn’t even get a message to Vladimir and it was important.”

“Kitten, you best not gloss over this part.”

“Damn.” She chuckled. “Well, I hit one man in the solar plexus and took off running past them both. The one that I hit grabbed me around the waist and then I used the momentum to kick the other man in the face. I came down on the carpet and they had their guns trained on me.”

It became a table divided instantly. Most of the Russians were surprised that she would try such a thing while Aiah’s family members were laughing. They knew what she was capable of doing. So did Aleksandr Nikolaichev. He trainer was laughing knowing full well how hard she trained.

Vladimir spoke of his part. “When my security finally released me I come out into the hallway to see what was going on. I was not pleased to say the least. I bring her back into the office and ask her if she took out my security team?”

 “Oh. I so had forgotten about that. I said something like No, I just hit one in the solar plexus and kicked the other in the face.  It was deathly quiet and the television sounded so loud. I knew the voice. It was someone I knew when I just a girl.

Karl was someone I had known since I was still in nappies. Same with Logan. It was almost always Karl, myself and Logan. We climbed trees, raced our bicycles, and swam until the sun had disappeared. In the winter we skied and had snowball fights and did all the things that kids did.

I didn’t find out until the bombing happened that Karl had been gang raped by a group of men. He was just a boy. I had gone with my mother to London for a short trip when it happened. I didn’t know any of it. He became angry and hateful. Karl blamed others that looked like his rapists. I tried to save him many times over the years but I couldn’t. He didn’t want to be saved.”

“The information was never released to the public or anyone else for that matter. Aiah was the one that spoke to the leader. It was her doing that kept more people from dying. Karl von Schaffer had his terrorists surrender because of his love for her.”

Nobody needed to say that he committed suicide. Everyone already knew.

“Someone had asked me why I loved a woman that wasn’t Russian right after it became known about our relationship. Aiah had told me about a saying in Texas. If you aren’t from Texas it’s alright, just get there as fast as you can. She isn’t Russian but she got here as fast as she could. And we are better for having her here.”

He tucked a straying curl back behind her ear. Vladimir had planned on proposing that night in Sochi. He couldn’t do that to her. He would never tell her either.

“It was six weeks later that I told her we were going to be leaving that day. There were people she needed to meet. Truthfully, I was concerned for her well-being. I had never seen Aiah stay melancholy for such a length of time.”

“Oh yes. I had a doctor appointment that day. And we left right after. He surprised me with a beautiful trip. He told me that there were people I needed to meet. The crew were people after all. The following day we were just enjoying ourselves. Relaxing, eating well, and being with each other. I am sure Auntie Abby can tell you a President doesn’t get a lot of free time to just be.”

“I concur Aiah.” Abigail Bryce chuckled.

“During this, Aiah gets a phone call. It’s short and precise. I make sure everything is alright and it was. We lounged around, swam, and did only what we wanted. I don’t believe I have ever had a vacation like that before. I had her dress for dinner. We ate and danced under the stars. I proposed to her that very night.”

“I think he has found out something about me and believes this is the right thing to do. Make an honest woman out of me and all that nonsense. I was wrong. Instead it sounded like I just said no. I realized he didn’t know. So I corrected myself to a very happy yes. Yes, yes, yes and yes.”

“The day I proposed, Aiah found out that she was approximately two months pregnant. That was the phone call she had gotten.” Vladimir laid his hand on her stomach before kissing her cheek.  

Aiah glowed with the kiss and it was even heard in her voice. “We are expecting a son at the end of December or first of January.”

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

Aiah was sleeping. Vladimir couldn’t help but smile at his wife. Once again she had amazed him.

She had looked so beautiful earlier in the day. The dress was reminiscent of the one she wore that first night he had been in London. Champagne colored silk moved fluidly over her. It accented each and every curve she possessed. Around her throat was the blue larkspur flower necklace that Vasili had his brother make for her.

While they were dancing together he had asked her about the dress. A blush lit her cheeks beautifully. He smiled as she whispered the reason she chose such a dress. The first time she walked away from him. This time she was walking with him.

Vladimir didn’t even notice who all was in attendance. His focus had been on her and her alone. Their first kiss as a married couple had left him wanting to take his new wife somewhere private. It had been a long time since their very first kiss and each one was more potent and utterly different than the last.

There was that one second delay when she smiled at him. Her lips were barely parted and she looked into his eyes. One second and that was all that it took for the anticipation to build and well up in Vladimir’s chest. The vanilla and jasmine perfume was subtle and it made him smile. It was something Aiah wore because she knew it was like an aphrodisiac for him. Not that he needed such a thing with her.

Three little words were a whisper when their lips touched. I love you was both felt and heard. Only he could hear the little moans of her arousal, so quiet they were.  Aiah had laid her hand against his chest and over his heart. It was a wordless way she said she loved him.

With the shouts of ‘gor-ko’ and the counting utterly ignored by both of them, Aiah and Vladimir were lost with each other for several minutes. He savored that kiss. They both blushed at the cheers of their friends and family when they finally looked out among their loved ones.

They were walking towards the guests when Vladimir saw his grandson come running towards him. He scooped the boy up in his arms with a look of surprise. Nikolai was five years old and so happy to see his Deda. It came as a bigger surprise when the little boy called Aiah his Lolly and reached for her as well.

“Kolenka! You give me a kiss too?” She used a diminutive form for Nikolai. Aiah knew that their other grandson, Tisha, would be staying home since he had a nasty summer cold. She was amused that she had grandchildren that would be older than her own child. It didn’t matter, she loved both boys dearly.

That was when his daughters walked up. Aiah greeted them both warmly and gave them each a kiss on the cheek. When Kolenka’s mother offered to take him back so Aiah could greet the guests, Nikolai wanted to stay with his Lolly. It was at Aiah’s insistence that her grandson stayed with her as she went off to greet the small number of guests.

Standing with his daughters, they told him all of the effort Aiah had put into bringing them together as a family.

For nearly a year, Aiah had been talking to his daughters. With Lyudmila’s help, the daughters were willing to give their father and Aiah a chance. Twice a week Aiah met with the girls. When their mother was in Moscow she would also spend time with her daughters and Aiah.

It was more difficult than it sounded. Someone knew every minute of every hour of every day where Aiah was and she didn’t want Vladimir to know what she was doing yet. Anyone that knew her, knew that she was the tenacious sort but she also didn’t want to get Vladimir’s hopes up. So she kept the whole venture quiet.

They were able to see firsthand that she was willing to try and make amends. The first time it was the two of them, plus their mother, and Aiah – the girls saw how well the two women got along. Little by little they got to know the English born woman better.

It wasn’t easy. The sisters were protective of their mother and sometimes anger got the better of them. Aiah, however, listened and replied as open and as honestly as she was able. With much patience the three women started to get along.

One of the girls was doing research in pharmaceuticals at the time. There was a problem she was missing and it wasn’t making sense. Aiah was polite when she asked if she could help. The daughter of Vladimir Putin was snide in her response but did give her the paperwork.

“Sometimes it just takes an extra set of eyes if you look at it too long. You weren’t fully seeing the effect of glucocorticoids on the Krebs cycle activity of the rat kidney.” Like always, Aiah was soft spoken.

“How did you know this?”

“My second PhD is in zoology.”

“How many PhDs do you have?”

“Three. Zoology, biology, and psychology.” 

The camaraderie felt between Aiah and Lyudmila was obvious. It was also very obvious when the girls saw their father that he was a different man. The often dour man was an absent father quite a bit of the time when they were growing up. He was happier and far easier going than ever before. Because she was spending time with Vladimir’s daughters away from prying eyes, Aiah tended to be busy when the girls would see their father.

Aiah had one last meeting with the girls before the wedding was to take place. They met at the eldest daughter’s home.

“Aiah, please understand we are only asking this because we worry.”

“You both can ask me virtually anything. I will do my best to answer and if I believe it is nothing that concerns you, I will say so.”

“How did you make your money?”

Aiah laughed. “Before I ever met your father I was worth at least two billion pounds. I never took money from your father. I didn’t allow him to buy me flowers or gifts at all. We didn’t go out to restaurants or the theater. If your father and I were seen in public it was official business.”

“Not even a birthday present?”

Aiah shook her head. “No. I was adamant about him not giving me gifts, money, or anything. I would not have it even appear that I was using him for anything. He tried a couple of times, I had them sent back to him.”

Masha looked at Aiah in surprise and then started to laugh. “Oh I can imagine the look on his face.”

“He video conferenced me the first time I did that. It was…uh……an interesting look. It wasn’t until I moved here more or less permanently that I allowed him to give me a gift. It wasn’t from him either.” She smiled softly. “One of the two men that were assigned to me when I was in Russia had it made for me. He gave it to your father to give to me.

I don’t know if you two had ever met Grisha Tikhonovich. He was a friend of your grandfather’s and father’s. It was your father’s influence that I met Grisha, yes. Still, the work was all mine. Every time we worked on a project together I wouldn’t permit Grisha to pay me. He insisted and I insisted and finally his wife comes over and plunks down two big mugs of beer in front of us. Nastasia tells us to quit arguing and close our mouths.”

Aiah smiled at the memory.

“Grisha, she goes, take the money and invest it for Aiah. Aiah, he makes a profit? You make a profit. Easy. That’s where the brunt of it came from. I have tax records showing all of it. I don’t love your father because of what he is. Money? Power? Truthfully it is easy to get either if you know how. I know how. I also have the connections in both the US and in the UK. You know President Bryce?”

“Yes. We had dinner with him once.”

“He is my godfather. My father was his chief of staff. They were childhood friends. If it makes any difference, your father and I signed prenuptial agreements.”

What sold the girls was how wonderful she was with their children.

The three of them were having tea that same afternoon when Nikolai and his younger cousin Tikhon came home from their preschool. When the two boys heard Aiah’s voice they both came running.

“LOLLY!!!!” Both boys were yelling.

Immediately, Aiah slid out of the chair and went down on one knee. The two boys threw their arms around her and hung on tight. Standing up, she smothered their little faces in kisses with a boy balanced on each hip. “Kolenka!! Tisha!!!”

Both boys were telling their soon to be step-grandmother to be about their day as she sat with both of them on her lap. She asked them questions and made sure that both boys knew that they were the most important people in the world to her right then.

“Tisha will you hand me my bag please?”

He slid the large computer bag over to Aiah. Reaching in, she pulled out two wrapped presents for them. Each contained a set of 9 Hot Wheels cars from the US and a book. After receiving permission from their mothers, she always brought something for the boys. Even if they didn’t get to see her, they knew that their Lolly and Deda were thinking about them. 

That Aiah went to so much trouble moved Vladimir almost to tears. Soon after Aiah found Nikolai hiding under her desk, she started trying to repair the damage that their affair caused.

He looked over at his wife standing with her parents and smiled. She blew him a kiss. Nikolai was meeting his step-great-grandparents for the first time. Tobias and Clarice had heard all about him from Aiah beforehand. Taking in everything around him, Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin realized he was a very happy man.

Aiah had been standing talking to Nastasia Tikhonovicha when Vladimir walked up and wrapped his arms around his wife’s waist.

“Vladimir Vladimirovich, when my Grisha passed on.” She made the sign of the cross. “I told Aiah that you were sweet on her. She wouldn’t believe me.”

He laughed and kissed Aiah’s cheek. “Do you believe it now?”

Aiah smiled and nodded. “I think so. Maybe.” She teased him.

They had danced the night away. Aiah had chosen two songs for them. At Last by Etta James and You Say it Best by Allison Krauss. She danced to I Loved Her First by Heartland with her father.

Vladimir had picked two of his own. You Are My Life by Mavjuda was modern. The other was a folk song, On the Murom Road, played as a waltz.

He smiled to himself and brushed back one of her curls. It sprang back to tickle at her cheek. Vladimir chuckled. Her hair was as stubborn as she was. That gentle touch made Aiah press closer to him and she smiled in her sleep. There was nothing more he could ask for other than for their child to be healthy.

Last night he had given her a gift that was both meaningful and silly. They had just finished making love and had not moved yet. Aiah stroked his upper back while he rested over her.

“I have something for you.” His lips touched her ear.

“Oh? I enjoyed what you just gave me.”

“Insatiable tart.”

“Insatiable Russian tart. With cream filling even.”

Shaking his head and laughing he kissed her nose. “Quite a tasty little tart.”

“You haven’t tried the cream filling.” She grinned. “It’s delicious.”

He removed two small boxes from his nightstand and handed her one. “Open it please?”

Doing as asked, she pried the lid open. Nestled inside was a delicate bracelet. It was not much more than a silver thread with a knot in the center. Afraid to touch it, Aiah used her fingernail to examine it. “It’s beautiful and so very delicate. I love it.”

“May I put it on you?”

“Yes, of course.”

It was placed on her left wrist. “It’s been 12 years Aiah. I have loved for you twelve years now. In the beginning, we said and maintained that our relationship was no strings attached. I don’t believe that was ever true. There were always strings, we just didn’t acknowledge them. Now, I attached the last string. I love you Aiah.”

 “Vova, I love you. I love you more than I can ever find the words to say.” She put the bracelet on his right wrist.  

They were tied to each other in so many ways now, the bracelet was a simple reminder.

Yawning, Aiah stretched and opened her eyes. “What time is it?”

“Very late.”

“Why are you still awake?” Aiah sat up.

“I was enjoying watching you and remembering the day.”

Aiah Putina smiled tenderly at her husband. “I love you.”

“I know. I don’t even have to hear the words and I know. Every time you look at me with your beautiful green eyes I know that you love me.” He kissed her smile. “But I do enjoy hearing the words.”

“Good. Because I enjoy saying them. Do you remember the last time you were at my flat in London?”

“Two years ago? Yes. Why do you ask?”

“Do you remember what you told me?” She started to laugh when he gave her a look. “You told me that I would be leaving you soon because good people marry.”

“I was at least half right.” He smiled hearing her laughter. “Why do Tisha and Kolenka call you Lolly?”

 Aiah chuckled softly. “Every time I go to England I pick them up these gigantic lollipops. The first time I gave the boys the candy they saw that they weren’t in Cyrillic and asked me what it said. Part of it was Lollipop, of course. I became their Lolly because of it.”

He laughed. “You never bring me these gigantic lollipops.”

“That’s because I have other things I would prefer you to lick.” Aiah smirked with his laughter.

They both would be returning to work on Monday. Aiah had a meeting at 1030 and would be going to the Kremlin before him. Vladimir had risen early to see her off and have a bit of tea with his wife.

Aiah was staring off with her mug of coffee in hand.

“What are you thinking darling?”

Aiah looked up, she had been lost in thought. “My apologies. I was thinking.”

He chuckled at how she answered. Vladimir was in sweats and a shirt. He would get a morning workout in after Aiah left. “What are you thinking?”

“How much would 412,170,900,000 rubles do to help children across the country?”

“Interesting number.” He looked at her with a raised brow.

“It’s the equivalent of 5 billion pounds sterling. Today at least.”

“What are you saying?”

“I have the money to spare. It’s not like I need all of it. That still leaves me with over 60 billion pounds. I could fund some of the things I want to do.” She had sold all of her properties off except her flat in London.

“Most people want more money and you want less.” He quipped.

“It’s just a start.”

He looked Aiah in the eye. Vladimir could tell she had been thinking about it for a while. “Draw me up what you want to do where and how. Then we will talk about this.” 

Since they had gone on holiday just two months before, the decision was made not to take a honeymoon. With their child being born around the winter holidays, it would make sense to extend the time off then. He realized they should have taken a few days off even if they just stayed at home.

It would be three hours before he arrived at the Kremlin. Almost immediately Vladimir’s wedding ring was online and across the world.

“Dr. Putina, there have been a multitude of requests for an interview with you.” Irisa Goreva said. Irisa was Aiah’s press secretary.

“That is all going through Peskov right now. Just forward the information to him.”

“The programming you do for young people is due to air a week from today. Do you wish to make an official statement?”

“No. Continue like always. The media splash should be enough. If something comes up, ask me then.” The alarm on Aiah’s phone chimed she had a press conference in 15 minutes. “Anything else?” She stood and began collecting her things.

“It can wait Dr. Putina.”

“Good. Thank you Irisa.”

Going through the proper channels to gain access to her husband, Aiah was finally permitted entry. She wasn’t fond of his new secretary. The woman was a pain in the arse. Vladimir was slipping on his jacket when she walked in.

Immediately, she smiled upon seeing him. “Good afternoon Vladimir Vladimirovich.”

“And a very good afternoon to you Aiah Tobiasonova.” He gave her a kiss. “You look lovely.” He hadn’t seen her since she had left for the Kremlin that morning. “You changed.”

“Why thank you. Yes, it is a bit breezy outside. I would rather not pull a Marilyn Monroe my first time doing a press conference with you. You do clean up rather nicely yourself. Although, I do also enjoy you dirty. So how am I supposed to address you?” Aiah never thought to ask.

“Kitten, you are my wife. Nobody expects you to call me any sort of title.”

“Does that mean I can drop the Dr. Putina thing?”

“If you truly wish to, yes. But you earned that title and people should know you aren’t just a beautiful girl.”

She understood then. They walked down the long corridors. “I have had quite an alarming number of requests for an interview. I am pretty certain every major news outlet has asked.”

“Are there any that you wish to do?”

“No. I had everything sent to Peskov.”

“Good.”

“Why are we doing this outside Vova?”

“It’s a beautiful day.” He chuckled when she arched her eyebrow. “The outdoor ones are less formal and easier to get out of.”

“That makes more sense.”

 “Are you ready for this?”

“Ready? No. I am nervous as hell.”

“Get used to it Kitten.” He chuckled. “You will be doing these with and without me. This one is more about you. They wish to know the make of the woman you are. I’ll be at your side. You have nothing to fear.” They stepped out into the warm afternoon sun.

She schooled her expression to be warm and smiling even though there were butterflies in her stomach doing jumping jacks. Aiah was wearing a pair of wide legged trousers and fitted white wrap blouse now. It was one less thing to worry about. Nobody needed to know what sort of knickers she wore besides Vladimir. This is the part she hated. Everything she wore would be scrutinized. Not that it hadn’t been that way for years.

“I’ve heard that everyone has been anticipating this press conference for hours so I shall not keep you waiting. Yes, the rumors are correct. Aiah and I have married.” Vladimir smiled at his wife and she returned it happily.

The questions started quickly with each reporter trying to talk louder than the one next to them. He raised a hand to quiet them down.

“When or where is not important. My wife will continue the work she has always done for Russia and more of her own choosing.”

Vladimir allowed his questioning to last only for ten minutes. Then they switched to Aiah.

“Aiah Tobiasonova! Are you going to continue some of the initiatives that your predecessor, Svetlana Medvedeva, started?”

“No.” Aiah smiled. “Svenka does her work beautifully. I have no need to try and take over from her.” The truth of the matter was that Svenka worked on a number of anti-abortion projects. Aiah was pro-choice.

“Do you find it odd that a foreign born woman has become the First Lady of another nation?”

Aiah knew the reporter, it wasn’t a question meant to antagonize. “Most of you know that my father is American. He is from the state of Texas. There is a common saying there. I wasn’t born in Texas but I got here as fast as I could.”

She smiled softly and tipped her head.

“That’s how I feel about Russia. I wasn’t born here but I got here as fast as I could. My parents were in the military. My father was US Army and my mother was Royal Air Force. I didn’t truly have a country that I called home. Home was just a word I didn’t understand fully. I was only 3 or 4 when I started learning to speak properly, or so my Russian tutor used to tell me.”

The reporters laughed and Vladimir picked up her hand and placed a kiss upon her knuckles.

“I am English only by place of birth. I was raised all over the world. I’ve said it before in interviews, I held no allegiance to any country in my youth. That changed after my first trip to Moscow.

 My first trip here to Moscow was somewhat of a failure. I extracted myself from the people I was working with due to poor behavior on their behalf. My husband was the Prime Minister then. Less than years after that meeting I had purchased my own home here and was spending 6-7 months across the entirety of Russia working. Russia become my home. No. Permit me to rephrase that. Russia not only became my home but my homeland. To someone not knowing my story, yes it is odd. To me? I’m finally home.”

“Mrs. Putina, what do you see yourself doing outside of your role as interpreter?”

“I think that it is time to make changes to the orphanage system and how young people are handled when their family can no longer care for them. I also wish to bring more physicians and specialists to rural parts of our country.”

One of the reporters scoffed at her answer. “What makes you believe you are qualified to take on such a task?”

Aiah’s green eyes followed the sound of the man’s voice until they fell on the man. She knew who he was. Konstantin Minayev was a reporter that had a strong nationalist bent. He reminded her too much of Karl.

“First of all, it is Doctor Aiah Putina. Second, I have three doctoral degrees. One in psychology. One in zoology. Yet, another in biology. In all three I am considered a Doktor nauk.” It was the highest degree one could achieve in Russia. The line of questioning made the corner of her lip curve upwards but just barely. “And lastly? Not only do I have the skills, I have experience to back it up.”

The press conference ended.

Vladimir offered his hand to his wife, which she gladly took. They went back inside together.

“You did beautifully Aiah. I am proud of you.”

“Thank you Vova.”

Vladimir had preferred to work from the residence as it was and made the decision unless he absolutely had to be elsewhere, it was there that they would be working from. He made that decision because of Aiah. She needed to be able to rest comfortably when she needed to.

The weeks were going by swiftly. The weather had begun to get colder, barely above freezing.

It took quite a bit of scheming on her behalf but Aiah had planned a large surprise party on Vladimir’s birthday. Everything was outdoors under tents with large outdoor heaters. On the 7th of October it was fairly obvious that Aiah was with child. She was stunning in a cocktail dress of dark jade.

While her parents couldn’t be there, Logan and Noah were.

“Aiah, darlin’ we need to liven up this place.”

“Oh god. What are you thinking Logan?”

“You’ll see.” He smiled.

When Noah made it back, a song started. Cotton Eyed Joe.

“Oh lord. Come on you two. Let’s get this going.” Aiah laughed.

The three of them walked out on the dance floor and started it. With the first pass, Aiah grabbed Svenka. Svenka grabbed her husband on the next pass. And the line dance kept getting bigger and bigger.  Finally the three of them broke off from the others and the music changed to a double time version.

Noah pulled back when the song changed to George Strait’s Lovebug. Aiah and Logan switched over to a quickly stepped swing dance. They were having fun and it seemed that the others at the party were enjoying watching the two cousins dance. The two of them had been dance partners since they were just 5 years old. Noah stepped in for a last dance with Aiah. Ain’t Nuthin’ About You by Brooks and Dunn.

“Enough! Let the pregnant lady catch her breath!” She laughed.

Logan grinned. “Lady eh? That’ll be a first.”

Aiah’s laugh was faked. Having not seem her husband most of the evening, she took note of their guests. Certain individuals would have been missing as well if it had been a matter of business. People he would have needed were still amongst the partygoers.

Vladimir Putin and his secretary Elizaveta Krupina were enjoying themselves with a bottle of champagne in the privacy of the stables. The chance of anyone finding them was virtually nil.

Aiah knew. Even if it wasn’t something she could admit to herself, she knew somewhere deep inside that their marriage had failed. For the last month leading up to his birthday, Vladimir had begun to pull away from his wife. No longer did they keep the same schedule. The time he once took during the course of their day to sit and speak with her had vanished. They didn’t even share meals together.

Aiah gave up. She even stopped the façade of laughing and smiling. The once happy woman withdrew from everyone, including Logan and Noah. The night of his party, Aiah moved out of their bedroom and in to one of the guest rooms. If her husband noticed, he said nothing.

It was perhaps two weeks later that she was at a doctor appointment.

“Dr. Putina, what’s going on that you keep losing weight?”

“A lot of nausea. I’m having a hard time eating because of it.”

“What aren’t you telling me?”

“There is nothing else that I am aware of happening. Nothing is wanting to stay down.” There was no one she could speak to about her husband and it was slowly killing her. Nothing would stay down save for maybe a few sips of water, if she was lucky.

“I’m prescribing you Phenergan. Hopefully that will help. I don’t want to put you on bedrest but we may have to if you are still having problems. I want to see you every week until we get this figured out.”

“Thank you Doctor.” 

Each appointment was more disappointing than the previous.

The November day was cold but clear. Aiah was reading something on her computer and didn’t know that Vladimir had stepped into her office. Standing behind her, he smiled.

“What are you reading?”

“Proposal.”

“Is that the revised one?”

“Yes.”

“Are you comfortable with it?” He leaned against her desk.

“Yes.”

“I’m proud of you.” Leaning down he kissed her lips.

Aiah jerked back from the kiss. It felt too strange. He had been ignoring her since September and the sudden affection put her on edge. Over and over again she had tried to talk to him about their marriage but he was always too busy. Now, his sudden invasion felt like a violation. It left her wild eyed and shaking.

“It’s not an original idea.” She deflected the praise.

He could fucking read it later. Many countries had implemented this same sort of offer to get professionals into different parts of the country. For every year worked in rural areas the government would absorb the tuition costs of one year for that person.  While loans for school weren’t as horrible as they were in some countries, it helped out the young person quite a bit.

 “Perhaps it isn’t original but you have made it open for others that speak Russian.”

Aiah shrugged. “I would have taken advantage of it when I was young.”

“When you were young?” Vladimir chuckled. “You are still young.”

A retort was about to leave her lips when she winced instead.

“Aiah? What is wrong?”

“The baby is active.”

He placed his hand on her belly. “He knows he has to be strong to protect his Mama.”

She stiffened with the touch. Frowning, she grabbed the cardigan off the back of her chair in an attempt to look somewhat natural. “Mama can protect herself. Are you going to be going to the doctor with me tomorrow?” Aiah already knew the answer but she wanted to hear it from his lips.

“No. I cannot. I have to be at the Kremlin tomorrow.”   

 “Do I need to be there before or after my appointment?”

“No, you need to start resting. Most women would have taken leave by now.”

“I have at the very least 4 more weeks and more likely 8 or 7 before I am due.”

“As long as you and our son are doing well, I won’t object.  Stanislav said I may wish to ask you about Yume?”

Doing well? It took everything she had not to burst into tears. Vladimir might be looking directly at her but there was no way in hell that he was seeing her. In 4-8 weeks, she would be giving birth. Aiah weighed less now than she did before she was pregnant.

Stanislav was one of the handlers for their dogs. “He came to ask what new protocols he needed to teach the dogs with me being so far along. I couldn’t think of any. Then he hears a grunting noise. Obviously he thinks it is me. Dr. Putina, is something wrong? Everything is fine. He hears it again. Again he asks. I finally hear it and ask him to come over to this side of the desk.”

Aiah slid back her chair and pointed under the desk. Yume, their Akita, lifted her head up.

“She won’t leave me alone. I can’t even go wash my hands without her.”

“Yume, come!” Vladimir called for her as Aiah handed him the treats that she kept in the top drawer. The Akita came out of her hiding spot. “You protecting Aiah?” He gave her a treat.  “She has always been partial to you.”

“I know.” She rubbed Yume’s head lovingly. At least someone in this house is?

Another bout of nausea hit her hard. Racing to the bathroom, she barely made it before she started heaving into the toilet. This time he didn’t follow. Leaning against the cold marble, Aiah was on the verge of tears.

At first she had believed that he had lost interest in their lovemaking because she was pregnant. Aiah realized it was far more than just their sex life that he had lost interest in. Kicking the door shut, she locked it. It was only then in complete privacy that tears were allowed to fall.

Aiah had tried to discuss with him what was going on with their marriage. Soon it was evident that he didn’t want to talk about anything concerning her or their child. The part that nearly broke her completely was Vladimir didn’t even want to help in the naming of their son.

Righting her appearance as best she could, Aiah prepared to head to the doctor.

Two hours later, a very visibly shaken Aiah was returning to the residence to collect a few items. The ob/gyn had decided to hospitalize her. She weighed only 45 kg. That meant she weighed less than 100 lbs. Since she had a driver, the doctor was permitting her to return home to pick up some items that she would need. It was expected that she would remain in the hospital until after she gave birth.

The baby still seemed healthy, thankfully. He wouldn’t remain that way if Aiah’s own health didn’t improve.

Instead of heading to the residence, she asked to go to the Kremlin first. Vladimir needed to know what was going on. Aiah didn’t know why she was bothering.

She had walked into her office to set everything down. The door was open that connected their offices. It meant he wasn’t meeting with anyone that would require a certain security clearance. Vladimir didn’t see her. Leaning against his desk, he was half seated on the edge. The woman between his legs sucking his cock was easily recognizable as his secretary.  

Turning the flash off on her phone, Aiah snapped a picture before turning and walking away.  

Texting Vasili, she arranged to be taken back to the residence.

Aiah said little as she walked into the place she had called home for over a year. Going upstairs, she changed into jeans and boots. A decision had been made. Going outside with the dogs, her phone vibrated. Seeing it was Vladimir, she simply turned the ringer off instead of worrying about it.

Hot tears spilled while throwing the balls for the dogs. She cried while scratching their furry heads. Aiah knew she deserved what had happened. The disregard she had years ago for Lyudmila and even Alina came back to bite her. Karma was settling the score.

She had known better. Dear god she had known better even when she was 20. A man that cheats with you will cheat on you.  Sighing softly and whistling for the dogs, they all went back inside. To her beloved pets, she said goodbye.

“Dr. Putina?” One of the security officers approached her.

“Yes?”

“Vladimir Vladimirovich has been trying to call you. Is your phone with you?”

“Yes.” There were 15 missed called from him. “Apparently I must have turned my ringer off. I’ll send him a quick text. Thank you.” A woman of her word, she texted him. No words. No angry or hurt message. None of it was needed. She sent him the picture she took earlier. No wonder she didn’t like the woman.

Upstairs in their bedroom, Aiah packed the handful of items that belonged to her and had nothing to do with him in the least. The Cartier bracelet was a royal pain in the arse but she managed to use the wrench to get the thing off of her.

Removing the rest of the jewelry she wore, Aiah dropped her wedding rings on to the bed along with the Cartier bracelet and the silver bracelet was yanked off, breaking it. No strings attached.  

Aiah put the jewelry that she had purchased herself and the items her parents had given her into her bag. One small bag was all it took. Well at least there wouldn’t be baggage to check. Making sure she had her ID and passport, she was ready to leave when he walked into the room.

 “Aiah….”

“Don’t.”

“Kitten…..” He stepped towards her.

“Come any closer you are going to see first-hand how quickly a pregnant woman can throw you on your arse. If you think I don’t mean it Vladimir, try me.”

“Aiah, someone is playing a trick on you.”

“Oh?”

“It’s a doctored photo.”

“No, it isn’t.”

“Kitten, I swear to you.”

“I’m not sure if I am more insulted by the fact you think I would believe that or that you didn’t bother to check the source of the photo.”

“I swear this to you Aiah, it is a fake.”

“Stop. Do not lie to me Vladimir. I don’t want nor do I need your lies.”

“Aiah, please listen to reason. Someone is trying to hurt us.”

“Look at me Vladimir. Look at me and fucking see me for a change.”

When he did, he blanched. He hadn’t even noticed. It was easy to see that Aiah was underweight. She looked frail and sickly.

“My doctor wants to hospitalize me. I cannot eat and I cannot sleep. I weigh less now than I did before I was pregnant. Since I am not permitted to drive anywhere by myself, the doctor was permitting me to go home and pick up a few things. Except, I didn’t go home. I went to see you. I don’t know why. It’s not like you would have even given a fuck.

That fake photo? I took the bloody photograph myself. Obviously your secretary wasn’t at her desk when I walked down the hallway. Since I wasn’t supposed to be there today, you left the door between our offices opened. I saw everything.”

Picking up a sealed folder, she tossed it to him.

“Inside you will find an ultrasound of my son. Yes, my son. You were nothing more than the sperm donor. Not to worry, I have no need nor desire of anything of material value or cash value for that matter. Keep it. Keep it all. Consider the prenup null and void.”

“Aiah, please.”

“No. I offered you the freedom and you didn’t want it. Not only did you not want it, you said you were done with me. I told you what would happen if I ever caught you. This shouldn’t come as a surprise but I’m leaving.”

“Aiah, don’t go. I beg of you. Think of our son.”

“I am thinking of my son, that’s why I am getting the fuck out of here. You didn’t go with me to the doctor because you wanted to spend time with your latest conquest. I hope to god she isn’t as foolish as I was.”

That very day she returned to London.

Depression gripped Aiah in its bloody talons and was refusing to let her out of its grip. She wasn’t foolish. Knowing full well that she needed help, upon landing in London she had taken a taxi over to her preferred hospital.

Aiah refused all contact with outsiders save for her mother and Logan. When Clarice and Logan started pushing for a visit she told them under no uncertain terms that she would refuse to see them. She didn’t want to be notified if someone besides either of them tried to contact her either. For nearly two months, she stayed in a quiet room with nothing but music and books.

During that time she made no mention of her husband and refused to answer questions about him.

Gradually, her health began to improve and Aiah made a few gains with her weight. Almost all of it had to be done via feeding tube and IV. The diagnosis of hyperemesis gravidarum was made. There was part of her that didn’t believe it was real. It was the slow death by a broken heart.

When labor finally started on 6 January, Aiah didn’t want anyone with her outside of the doctor and nurses. For most of the labor and delivery tears streaked down her sunken cheeks. The physical pain was nothing compared to the internal anguish that she suffered.

After 26 hours of labor, in the early morning hours of 7 January a nurse laid her newborn son on her chest. Vadim Vladimirovich Putin weighed 2.5 kg and was 48 cm long. While small, Vadim was healthy. Seeing his sweet face was the first time Aiah smiled the first real smile she had since September.

The large flat that Aiah owned in London was in an ultra-secure building. That had been her preference before she had ever met Vladimir Putin. The attempted assault on her at sixteen left her cautious. Vadim was seven weeks old when she received a phone call from Vasili.

“Dr. Putina, this is Vasili Ponomaryov. May I speak to you please? I’m downstairs.”

“Are you alone?”

“I am.”

She buzzed him in through the three checkpoints.

Aiah was holding her son when she went to the door and allowed the man that guarded her for many years into her home.  

“Come in Vasili. May I get you something to drink?”

“No thank you.” The big man smiled. “Is this?” The worlds trailed off.

“Yes. Vadim Vladimirovich Putin. Or as I call him, Vadya.” She led him into the sitting room and curled up on the sofa. “Please Vasili. Sit. Make yourself at home.

Vasili and Vadya were watching each other with curiosity. Vasili was smiling to the newborn like a proud uncle.  

“Would you like to hold him Vasili?”

“May I?” He sounded surprised.

“Of course.”

Aiah couldn’t help but smile. Vasili went with her almost everywhere when she was in Russia. Children loved the big man and he loved children.

“What brings you to London?” She smiled watching. Vadya looked happy in Vasili’s arms.

“The FSO wishes to reestablish your security detail Dr. Putina.”

“Why?”

“Just for your safety.”

Aiah nodded. “Let me put Vadya down for his nap and then we can talk.”

Vasili breathed a sigh of relief. He wasn’t positive what had happened between Vladimir Vladimirovich and Aiah Tobiasonova but he knew that Aiah wouldn’t have left as she did if it wasn’t something big. The big man had a very good guess to what happened. He would never say anything, of course.

 

One Year Later

Vadim was laughing happily as Nastasia held him. She smiled at the happy baby.   

“Aiah, let me make breakfast.”

“I’m almost done. We always did a special Christmas breakfast when I was a child so let me do this for you. Besides, my parents will be here soon. You may have to arm wrestle my mother for Vadya.”

 “Do you ever hear from Vladimir Vladimirovich?”

“No.” She shook her head. “I make sure to send him updates on Vadya’s growth and milestones. I send him pictures, videos, and such but we don’t speak.”

“Aiah, I am so sorry.”

“Nastasia, it was my own fault. I knew he would never be faithful. I was foolish.” Aiah had told no one besides Nastasia why she left. Nastasia was the only person she felt that she could trust.

“You still love him?” The older woman was surprised.

“Of course. I fell in love with him when I was just 20 years old. There will always be part of me that loves him. And he did give me the greatest Christmas gift ever.”

“Are you going to raise Vadya as Russian?”

“Yes. As much as I can here in England. He will learn Russian and English like I did. When he is an adult, he can choose where he wants to live. When he is older, I will take him to Russia and show him everything I love about it. If I am allowed in the country.”

“Ach. Aiah. You have too good of a heart.” Nastasia decided to change the subject. “I cannot wait to see your Mama. It has been far too long.”

“Speaking of, what did you think of Texas?”

Nastasia had gone to the US to see Clarice. Clarice had gone to see her friend in Russia as well. The two women had become quite close and were learning each other’s languages.

“It was November and felt like July! The people were so friendly. I was amazed.”

“Texas could be a whole other planet. Sometimes I think it is.”  Aiah chuckled. “Mum loved Khabarovsk, I know. I was terrified with her being there.”

“You think he would do something to your Mama?”

“Do I think so? No. Was I still worried? Yes.” Aiah heard her computer chiming. “I shall return momentarily. That should be my grandchildren. Computer call.”

Taking Vadim with her, she sat down and accepted the video chat.

“LOLLY!!!!”

“KOLENKA! TISHA! How are my boys?”

Aiah’s heart ached seeing them on the screen. She had only gotten to see them face to face once since she returned to London. The girls and their families had flown in for Aiah’s birthday and to see Vadim. In order to stay in touch, they did video chats at least once a week. The boys were thanking their step-grandmother for the presents. Aiah split the difference between New Years and Christmas. Both of her grandsons loved to read and she sent them books on Christmas whereas the larger presents were for New Years.

She wanted to cry, not that it was anything unusual. She blew the boys kisses as they went off to play.

“Aiah, can you talk privately?”

“Of course. Nastasia is with me. I’ll have her watch Vadya and will call your mobile in just a minute.”

It took Aiah 2 minutes and 2 seconds exactly.

Having stepped outside on to the deck dressed in jeans and a jumper, Aiah was comfortable. Too much time spent Russia she mused.

“Masha, what’s wrong?”

“Have you spoken to my father?”

“No. I haven’t spoken to him since I left.”

“Did he ever hit you?”

“No. Never. He never even threatened to do so.”

“He has a temper.” Masha hedged.

“Masha, your father and I rarely fought. We didn’t always agree but we were able to debate and discuss. What is bringing this up?”

“Mama asked you if he ever got physical with you, didn’t she?”

“Yes. It was right after he had told her about us. I told Mila he wouldn’t because I had more training in combat sports and it’s true. Masha, please tell me what’s going on.”

“We found out that we have another sibling Aiah.”

“Alina?”

“Does she have children by my father too?!”

“I don’t know. Is it possible? Yes. But I really don’t know.” It was the truth.

“No, he has a son born in 1990.”

“Are you sure? This could be a scam.”

“Yes, I’m sure. We had DNA testing done.”

Aiah was considering banging her head against the wall. “Where is your father?”

“I don’t know.”

“He isn’t coming over for Christmas?” New Year was the big celebration for Russians. Christmas was more religious but it was still very family oriented.

“No. We just…..we couldn’t. We told him not to come for New Year’s or Christmas.”

Cursing silently. “Okay. Masha I will be there as soon as I can get a flight out.”

“Aiah, no. It’s Christmas.”

“And you are family. I’ll be there very soon.”

Aiah, her parents and Nastasia celebrated an abbreviated birthday for Vadim and Christmas. It was hard to leave Vadya in London with her parents but she did. It seemed safer.

The flight took off just a bit after midday. Aiah picked up the rental car at 1930 in the evening, just after texting her stepdaughters. From the airport to the residence it took almost two hours for her to arrive.  The President was indisposed but they were able to get approval from within, luckily. Who they asked, she didn’t know.

Ivan, who was the major domo since Grigori retired, greeted Aiah first.

“It’s good to see you again Ivan. Where is Vladimir Vladimirovich?”

“Upstairs. I’m not exactly sure what room currently. Viktor is watching him through the CCTV surveillance. Dr. Putina, he has been drinking.”

“Thank you for the warning.”

She found her husband asleep in her library. The door was opened to the room across the hall. It was the nursery. Everything was in perfect order. The room was being cleaned apparently. Shaking her head Aiah walked into the library. She was already exhausted.

“Vladimir.”

Nothing. Sighing, she tried again.

“Vladimir!” Her voice was sharp.

“Aiah?” He shook his head, trying to clear the cobwebs. The nap sobered him up but he still wasn’t thinking clearly. “What are you doing here?”

“Checking on you.”

“You flew from London?”

“Yes.”

“Why?”

“When I see my grandchildren upset and my daughters upset because you are acting the fool again, I figured I best see what was going on.”

“Where is my son?”

“Which one? There are three to choose from now. Or is it four?”

He glared at her with a scowl. However, Aiah simply stared right back at him. 

“Vadim.”

Sighing, she shook her head. “Vadya is in London with my parents.”

“You came from London?” He asked again.

“Yes.”

 “Aiah.” He whispered. “I’m so sorry.”

“Vladimir, I was perhaps a year old. You have no reason to say that you are sorry to me.”

“Yes, I do. For everything I have put you through, I am sorry.”

She nodded.

“You look beautiful.” He smiled softly. “You look like you did before you were pregnant. Except you cut your hair. I’ve never seen you with your hair this short.” Putin wanted to run his fingers through her curls again. He didn’t realize how much he missed playing with her hair until now.

It was meant as a compliment. The last time he had seen Aiah she looked as if she was on death’s door. Which wasn’t too far from the truth. It was why her physician had wanted her hospitalized. Now? Aiah was fit and healthy looking.

“It was falling out.” Aiah said flatly.

Her dark hair wasn’t anywhere nearly as long as it once was. She had chopped it off to her jawline after being released from the hospital with Vadya. Aiah had lost so much of it anyway in her malnourished state. It was now to her shoulders and had regained much of its former luster.

With cheeks ruddy from the cold, it gave Aiah an appearance of an era of long ago. Pale green eyes were cold and unblinking as she stared at him. Vladimir realized he couldn’t remember the last time he saw her smile or heard her laugh. Was it at the surprise party she threw for him? Before then? He didn’t know.

It made Vladimir’s heart ache. He had been a fool and he knew it.

“You only ever cared about appearances.” She rubbed a tired hand against her forehead.

“That’s not true.”

“Vladimir, how many relationships have you had that you didn’t cheat?”

He looked away. There weren’t any.

Aiah’s brow arched high and she shook her head with a sigh. The alarm on her phone went off, interrupting what she almost said. Checking the time, she needed to take her supplements. Vadya’s birth had taken a toll on her body and her personal physician still had her taking supplements for it.  

“I need to take my medication.”

“Of course, come we will go to the kitchen.”

They walked down to the kitchen in silence. It was only after he handed her a bottle of water did Aiah break the silence.

“Thank you.”

 “Aiah, don’t thank me. Please.”

 Again she raised an eyebrow.

“You are my wife. This is our home. You do not need to thank me.”

“When you permit the divorce decree to go through I will no longer be your wife. This is not my home. It never was my home. I was merely a guest.”

“I won’t sign it.”

“Why?”

“I don’t want a divorce.”

“Then don’t sign it. It makes little difference in the scope of my life.” Aiah was exhausted. Looking down, her shoulders sagged in defeat. “I know that your infidelity isn’t about me. It’s about you. If I neglected something within our marriage, I’m truly sorry that I did. I tried my best. I gave you my best. However, it wasn’t enough.”

“Aiah…..”

“Vladimir, I didn’t come here to argue. I came to make sure that you were alright, which I have done. I need to call the girls. Hopefully, I can see my grandsons before I return to my life in London and my guests.”

“Your grandsons? You want a divorce but you dare to call them your grandsons?” He lashed out.

“My love for them have nothing to do with me being married to you. I loved them before we were married and I will love them until the day I die.”

“Yet, you cannot love me? If you came all this way just to make sure I was alright, that should tell you that you don’t hate me.”

“I have never hated you Vladimir. I’ve been madder than hell at you but not once I have ever hated you.” Aiah shook her head. “Besides, the opposite of love isn’t hate. It’s indifference.”

“Aiah, I love you. I have never stopped loving you.”

“Your son was born one year ago today and you didn’t even send him a card. You haven’t even asked how he is doing. Luckily, he is still a baby. He won’t know that his own father didn’t care enough to send him one. But I will never forget. One year ago today I sent you his first picture. At the very least, I have sent you videos and pictures once a week. Usually, it was 2-3 times a week. Each time I asked you to come out and get to know your child.

All I hear is silence. Vladimir, you don’t even have the decency to respond. You don’t see your daughters, you don’t see your grandsons, and you don’t see your child with Alina. Now you have yet another child that was born from yet another affair. Are all of us are disposable to you? It was great when you wanted us but when you didn’t? We became invisible.

Maybe you never stopped loving me but I could pinpoint the date when you lost interest and ceased to care. I remember when it happened. It was before your birthday. We had been married less than six weeks.

I remember the nights that I blamed myself because you no longer wanted to touch me. You kept telling me it was time for me to start my maternity leave. The real reason was you had replaced me and it would be easier to fuck her without me in the next room.

Do you have any idea how humiliating that was? I had to ask this woman for access to my husband while I was pregnant. It explains the smug smiles she gave me. It explains how she would make me wait and how she would dismiss me. Did you fuck her in our bed Vladimir? What about on your desk? Like you did me so many times.”

Aiah shook her head in disgust and swiped away the tears before they could fall.

“I so badly needed to believe that somehow I was different or special. And that was a lie I kept telling myself. For what I did to Lyudmila and the girls? I deserve every bit of pain I caused them ten times over, if not more. However, Vadya doesn’t.” Throwing the water bottle in the recycle bin, Aiah turned to her estranged husband. “If you ever wish to see your son, you know how to contact me.”

Without another word, she walked away.

Aiah hadn’t even made it out of the kitchen when she felt a burning pain in her side. She touched where the pain was and came back with a hand covered in blood. Confused, she turned sharply just in time to see Vladimir fall.  

Then she saw the woman with a gun.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

The bullet entered and exited her body before Aiah realized the woman had a gun. The second and third bullets pierced her flesh but did not exit. Somewhere in the jumble of thoughts, Aiah believed that this was how it would feel to be kissed by fire. It was a long and lingering kiss. Cold and sweating profusely, Aiah recognized the signs of shock. 

Oddly enough, she didn’t care. Aiah had given Logan and Noah custody if something should happen to her. They wanted children and it would give them an opportunity to have one. Her estate would go to them and Vadya. She had wanted her parents to have part but they wanted the boys to have it. So, she acquiesced to their wishes.

That was perhaps her last coherent thought. Laying prone on the kitchen floor, blood pooled around Aiah. She welcomed Death with open arms if he would stop the anguish that had tortured her for the last 18 months.

Vladimir watched in horror as Aiah began slowly slipping away. There wasn’t anything that could be done by him. His wounds had rendered him helpless. The shooter walked around the large island in the center of the kitchen. And she smiled while aiming the gun at Aiah’s head. Aiah smiled back.

There was a single shot fired.

Kolya reached Aiah first. Vladimir saw the look on her security officer’s face. It was bad. It was very bad. His Aiah lay dying even as paramedics worked around her. She wasn’t moving or fighting, like she normally would have.

Pale green eyes were half closed and in those moments Vladimir thought she was gone. He had to see. He had to make sure that there was some life left in her. She couldn’t die. He needed his Kitten. In trying to get to Aiah, he fought the paramedics and physician that were ready to put him on a helicopter.

Then everything went dark.

Between the anesthetic and morphine Vladimir Putin had no memory of what happened after he tried to get to Aiah.

“Aiah…” He whispered.  “Where is she?”

He remembered seeing the spray of blood and the bullets hit her. She crashed down hard on the floor. All he could do was watch Aiah. Those beautiful pale green eyes were vacant looking as blood widened around her. There was one more shot but he couldn’t remember who fired that last one.

“Where is Aiah?” His blue eyes found his daughters and pleaded with them. “How long have I been unconscious? Where is my Aiah?”

Katya whispered ten days. After that all they were able to do was weep and hold on to his hands.

Vladimir Putin sunk back into the darkness. It was safer there than knowing what was happening around him. It would be hours later that he was awakened by a nurse doing her rounds. The armed guards kept a close eye on all of her movements. They were taking no chances.

“Where is my wife?”

“I’m sorry Vladimir Vladimirovich, I don’t know.” Her voice was kind but she was under strict orders not to tell him.

“How long have I been here?”

Two weeks the nurse had said. Had he been unconscious all this time?  There was a vague recollection of his daughters but that was it.

The following days were repeats of the first. No one would tell him what had happened and he was too tired to argue. There were times he would swear his wife was there but she wasn’t. She couldn’t be.

When he was moved from the ICU to a regular room he was told he had been there for three weeks. Once again he asked of Aiah and again nothing.

His days blurred into a single line with the heavy dosages of painkillers he was give. Still, no one would tell him anything about Aiah. He couldn’t get an answer from anyone.

Nothing. Everyone made an excuse or said they didn’t know.

Four weeks later Vladimir felt like he was dying. No, this was worse. Death would end his pain. Now, all he could do was suffer. He was awake and thriving now. They told him he would be going home soon. But what of Aiah?

Death had followed him down many dark paths. He had prepared himself for many things, including his own death. Nothing in his life prepared him for the loss of Aiah. Even when she was kidnapped, he knew he would see her again.

Now he knew he wouldn’t. Never again would he hear his name spill from her lips. There was no one that said Volodya like Aiah did. It wasn’t because of an accent. His name on her lips was a single word filled with love and lust. That melodic voice made him shiver with pleasure. His little seductress. Never again would he kiss her lips. Their shared love of music and dancing died with his beloved.

He had called her one night. “What are you doing Kitten?”

“Standing in the kitchen naked making cookies.”

“Why are you making cookies while you are naked?”

“I spilled milk all over myself and I just got out of the shower. I also just took the cookies out of the oven.”

He chuckle and shook his head. “I need you to do something for me please?”

“You want naked cookie delivery?”

“I need you to accept a delivery for me.”

“Of course.”

Vladimir was actually a day early on his visit. The plan was to surprise that little minx. Aiah must had known something was up. When she opened the door she had a small plate of pfeffernusse in one hand and a cup of hot tea in the other. She had dusted her breasts and backside in powdered sugar.

“Good evening Vladimir. Cookies? Tea? Me?”

He picked her.

They were lying in bed together when he reached for something. “When I was 14 there was a beautiful girl I wished to impress. She was four years older than I was. I tried to be something that I wasn’t and the girl laughed in my face.”

“Vladimir, I am so sorry.”

“I’m not. It was teenage foolishness. One of my friend’s sisters gave me this book to read to make me feel better. It actually worked. I have carried this book with me since I was 14 years old. It would be 21 years before you were born. I want you to have it Aiah. I know you don’t like gifts but this is something that makes me think of you each time I see it. It’s time for the book to go to its next owner. I hope when you read it you will think of me and smile. Happy 24th birthday Kitten.”

The thin tomb was wrapped in a simple red ribbon. First Love by Ivan Turgenev was the book. It was old and well loved. Aiah kissed him tenderly. It was the only gift she ever accepted before the necklace. The book used to go with her everywhere. It was something she had utterly cherished.

Aiah left it behind after catching him cheating.

How many times did they stay up until the morning sun was seen on the horizon laughing, fucking, and enjoying one another? Her laughter. Her laughter would fade from his memory until it was like it never existed.

Were there any videos that showed them? Sure there was countless hours of footage from them working together. They lacked the intimacy that was shared between them. Those videos didn’t show them laughing and enjoying each other. It had to be karma finally getting her revenge.

The death of his Aiah was the cruelest punishment of all.

Aiah had been his for so long. It was supposed to be no strings attached. Even in the lie they told themselves she was his lover, closest friend and the one person he trusted fully. How he lived for those moments when they could be together!

“Do you trust me Vladimir?”

“Yes.”

“Lean back then darling.”

They were soaking in her large garden tub. The water was just on the verge of being too hot. That was the way they both liked it. She lathered up his face with a shaving brush. Four straight razors were laid out and she shaved his face. Aiah always pampered him like that. Manicures, pedicures, body scrubs and more. He remembered how happy she would be doing those things.

She had emptied the water and was letting the tub fill again.

Kneeling over his thighs, she kissed him. Hard nipples brushed his chest and he couldn’t help himself. His hands slid over her wet skin. She would pull back from the kiss to whisper something. She told him how much she craved him and then would kiss him again. Her soft full mouth left him breathless.

He grabbed her, crushing those gorgeous breasts to his chest. She wriggled in his arms and abruptly pulled away. Slender hands grabbed the back of the tub and she kissed him hungrily. Her tongue pushed into his mouth and danced with his own.

He almost said it then. Vladimir had wanted to. He wanted to tell her he loved her, but didn’t.

The next kiss was soft. Tender. She worshiped him that way. Soft and filled with delight, he wanted to weep with the beauty of that kiss. Aiah loved to play and tease but this was the real woman. She exposed her gentle heart to him. Passion was ambrosia on her lips. It was Vladimir that pulled back first.

There was a touch of sadness in her beautiful green eyes and he couldn’t fathom what she was sad about. He would only learn years later that Aiah believed her love for him was unrequited.

If only he had told her then…..

Aiah had worked on two different islands back to back, Seychelles and Maldives. She had been working for the University of Seychelles on a six week contract. Then she would be going straight to the Maldives.

He had a chance to surprise her and did. It was early afternoon on a weekend. Aiah had gone to the beach for a swim. The little bungalow she had rented was charming. The bedroom opened up to a private beach that was patrolled. Vladimir wasn’t sure if she realized that she had his security around her as well.

Normally fair skin was bronzed when she came strolling up the beach carrying her snorkeling gear. Aiah stopped abruptly realizing that there was someone sitting on the deck of the bungalow. She knew who it was instantly.

She took off running. How beautiful she looked as she ran to him. Her wide smile was filled with love and adoration. Vladimir remembered picking her up in his arms and spinning Aiah around. Her smile was for him and only him.

The way her green eyes sparkled upon seeing him was something he would never forget. Had anyone ever looked at him the way she did? Vladimir honestly didn’t know. If they did, he never noticed. Aiah had looked so beautiful sporting an all over tan. He was surprised to find that her arse was lily white where the tiny bikini bottoms covered.

She wore them only because of him. She could have gone naked on the private stretch of beach and most likely would have. Except, she knew that he loved tan lines on her backside. He realized she only wore the bottoms because of him. With a warm breeze blowing through opened windows, they made love for hours.

No. It wasn’t just love. They worshipped each other. They fed a hunger that only the other could satisfy. It was all encompassing. Little by little Aiah exposed more of herself to him. That day she exposed more of herself than she may have realized.

“I don’t want you to go.” She looked down sheepishly. It was the first time she had ever said that.

“I don’t want to leave either Häschen.” He kissed her lips softly.

She laughed softly and kissed him again. “Why did you call me a bunny?”

“That scrap of cloth you call a bikini has left you with a white little tail, just like a bunny. Aiah Cottontail.” He stroked his fingers across the tan lines. “We will come back here and enjoy ourselves. A private vacation for just us.”

He had meant it then. He still wanted to go back with her. Sighing softly, Vladimir never took Aiah back there to the Seychelles. He should have done it for a honeymoon. He should have done it to make her smile. Now it would never happen.

He wasn’t known for trusting many people, most men of power aren’t. He trusted Aiah fully and completely. Not once did she ever betray him.

He was the one who betrayed her.

Vladimir Putin didn’t know if he truly believed in a God. He wanted to. His mother tried to instill in him the teachings of the Church, he just wasn’t sure. Still, he prayed. He prayed for God to take care of his Aiah. If there was an afterlife, perhaps God would allow him to beg her for forgiveness before he was cast into the pits of Hell.

He was worried about their son. He assumed that Vadya was with her parents. The not knowing for sure sent is blood pressure rocketing upwards. He was such a beautiful child. He looked like his mother right down to the wild shock of curls. The pictures and videos Aiah sent showed that he was a happy little boy with a quick smile. The only thing he appeared to have gotten from his father was his blue eyes. Vladimir prayed that was all his son had gotten from him.

It was time to step down as president. With Aiah gone, he needed to be a father to his son. He owed that to Aiah. It was his fault that she was murdered. Everything that happened was his fault. He needed to take responsibility for a change. Vladimir swore to be the father he should have been to all of his children.

He didn’t know that she had turned guardianship over to Logan and Noah.

Fear gripped Vladimir’s heart with its talons and fear whispered in his ear that Tobias and Clarice Corrington would never allow him to have his son, let alone see him. They had probably left the country with Vadya already. There was no reason for them to be in Russia with Aiah gone. He realized that they most likely already held her funeral.

He would never have a chance to say goodbye.

The room was bathed in the silence that only a hospital room could have. The only noises came from the machines that monitored him. It made him all the more restless. The memory of how Aiah looked on their wedding day was painful. Long after everyone had gone he had taken Aiah’s hand in a moment of whimsy. They went outside and danced under the stars barefooted.

She had been so happy. Rarely did she sing voluntarily but when she did it was magical. For him Aiah sang the blues.

I want you in my bed in a minute flat

Let's hit the backseat of your cherry Cadillac

I bet you never guessed

Or came prepared for this

I like your bowtie, glasses on your eyes

You better push that gear down to the fifth

And hit that gas pedal with a heavy a kick

I wanna feel the heat

Your tires grip that street

I like your straight-A style

Can't wait another mile

Whoa, the world ain't ending, but it might as well be

Whoa, I'll rock you like the sea,

Buildings ain't crumblin', but they might as well be

Whoa, so let's not think

And just move like you stole it

Move, hurry

Move like you stole it

Make your move on me

I see your hands start tremblin' when I touch you there

I watch your jaw drop open with an eager stare

I'll be your dream tonight

Your wishes…

It was easy to forget how strong she really was. When her sleek body pressed tight to him, Vladimir pulled her closer. Aiah draped her arms over his shoulders and moved against him. Christ, that woman was dangerous. She was a force to be reckoned with at times and this was one of those times.

A slender leg wrapped over his hip and that little vixen leaned back into his hands. Sweeping her body back, she used the momentum to grind against his cock. When she rose back upwards she kissed him with such love, Vladimir swore that his heart skipped a beat.

Whomever was watching the CCTV that night almost got a show.

He had been so aroused by the way she moved. Aiah whispered against his skin that she wanted to fuck him right here and right now, he almost pushed her up against a tree to have his way with her. She bit his jaw and growled with a sort of feral hunger that he had never heard from her before. Vladimir would have sworn he was going to pass out from the blood rushing below his belt.

With her hand cradling the back of his head, Aiah kissed him. Hands tightened at her back. Fingers digging into fair flesh made her pull back and she smiled. That smile had been something dangerous. No, it was more than that. His Kitten was dangerous, strong and brilliant.

She made sure he knew years ago that she was not looking for someone to complete her. Aiah was honest, sometimes brutally so. She had told him that she was complete all on her own. There wasn’t a single person in the world that she needed to complete her and he was no exception. However, she wanted him in her life. She enjoyed him and he brought her joy.

The irony was not lost on him.

Aiah had spent two weeks with him in his home several years ago. His divorce with Lyudmila had been finalized several months before. While she had been there before in an official capacity, Aiah never stayed with him. This was not an official visit. While he worked, she did as well on one of her other projects.

The work she had been doing was vile but necessary. It was so horrific that she didn’t want to be around people, including him. Aiah was deciphering coded documents from a human trafficking ring. Most of the people sold were long since dead, many by their own hand to escape the abuse.

Grateful that he was working later into the night than she was, Aiah changed into gym clothing. Vladimir didn’t need to see her in one of these moods. So, she was going to do what she always did. She was going to run away.

With her ancient iPod in hand, she dialed up a playlist with some workout music.

A short warmup and then Aiah hit it hard and fast. She was running hard and fast on the treadmill. Going full tilt in a long sprint, sweat and anger both poured off of her body. Hair in a ponytail was drenched with sweat within the first 16 kilometers and she showed no signs of slowing down.

With a press of a button turned the treadmill to hills next and she went even harder. Aiah was a marathoner. She had ran races all over the world for several years at that point. For two straight hours she had ran the hardest course she could program into the treadmill. Sweat poured down her body. The sports bra and shorts were soaking wet. Hitting another button, she dropped back the speed. After running like that, she needed a good cool down.

Anger abated, she started to enjoy the music and the movement of her body once again. Perhaps that was why she allowed him to push her towards the darker parts of his desire. Aiah enjoyed taking her body to extremes on occasion.

When the song Shut Up and Dance by Walk the Moon came on she actually started to grin. Using the remote to turn the music way up, it was dance time.

Oh don't you dare look back

Just keep your eyes on me

I said you're holding back

She said shut up and dance with me

This woman is my destiny

She said oh oh oh

Shut up and dance with me

Knees went high in a bouncing step. Letting the belt move her with arms above her head, hips cocked and circled left to right left to right in a long slow grind. Hands then hit the arms of the treadmill bouncing up, she used the momentum to twist around with her feet landing on the unmoving sides. One more time she did the same movement but her feet landed back on the belt.

We were victims of the night

The chemical, physical, kryptonite

Helpless to the bass and the fading light

Oh we were bound to get together

Bound to get together

She took my arm

I don't know how it happened

We took the floor and she said

Turning backwards, she walked the treadmill with a graceful stomp walk. Grabbing the arms once more she flipped forward and then back again. The burn of lithe muscle felt divine. It was almost better than sex.

She grinned because almost wasn’t anywhere near to what she enjoyed with Vladimir. Pop and lock. Pop and lock. They were long slow grinds with a stop and a start over and over again. It was a crude movement, not unlike what she did against his body. Just the thought of him made nipples harden and rub against the wet sports bra.

Oh don't you dare look back

Just keep your eyes on me

I said you're holding back

She said shut up and dance with me

This woman is my destiny

She said oh oh oh

Shut up and dance with me

Eyes closed, she sang along with the music. Aiah didn’t realize that there was a pair of eyes watching her secretly. She felt strong. No, she was strong. The way her body moved felt like she was making love to the flow of air. Standing straight, one foot kicked back behind her knee. Figure four movements flowed into a hop to the left and back to the right. Holding her arm out to an invisible partner she popped her hips again and locked them.

That was when she heard the loud applause from a single pair of hands.

There shouldn’t have been anyone but her in the gym right then and it scared her. Stumbling, she nearly fell. Actually she would have fallen if it weren’t for a pair of hands holding on to her waist.

She was prepared to fight but luckily she knew those blue grey eyes peering at her.

“Shh. It’s ok. I have you.” His voice was dark, rich, husky. “So this is what you do when we aren’t together?” His chuckle was low. “I want you Kitten. Now.”

She responded by pulling away from him. She was embarrassed. Taking several steps back, the sports bra was discarded. Full breasts were on display. The natural bounce of Aiah’s body made it where he refused to take his eyes off of her.

“Aiah Giselle…..”

She chuckled at him. Swiftly, he grabbed her.

“My pretty little cock tease.”

“I only tease your cock for our pleasure.”

He peeled the soaking wet gym shorts off of her as fast as he could. Not one to argue, Aiah didn’t try and stop him. His hands grabbed her in such a way that she ended up straddling his lap. Vladimir was in pain with wanting his Kitten. Slacks were now unzipped and he didn’t bother to pull his clothing off, immediately Vladimir impaled her on his cock. 

Crying out with the surprise at his invasion of her body, Aiah’s eyes widened with the most enjoyable of pain. She couldn’t move. The shock of him penetrating her was intense. And she loved it.

He grabbed her hair and pulled Aiah’s lips closer to him. The kiss was brutal, with him biting and sucking at lush lips. Vladimir’s hands were at her waist, gripping tight enough to mark silken flesh. Driving his cock inside of her while he moved her body up and down. It was hate fucking without the hate driving them both.

Aiah quivered. Her sleek body trembled before him. He saw exactly when that orgasm started. Inhaling deeply, she held tight to his shoulders. Vladimir whispered to her.

“Give it to me Aiah!” The words were a husky growl. “That orgasm is MINE not yours.” He pinched her nipple just enough to make her eyes go wide. “Just as you are mine Aiah Giselle so is your pleasure. I want it now.”

 She gave it to him. She shared that first burst of heat with her lover. Together they reached their pleasure. Their cries were stifled only by the shared kiss.

Fingers slowly traced across bare skin, like they memorizing each other by touch. Kissing his soft lips, Aiah could feel his hands on her arse. He gripped the rounded cheeks firmly while fingers traced down the groove.

Whispers of adoration reached each other’s ears. Slowly they stood so that she could help him remove the last of his clothing. Eyes closed, she tipped her head to rest against his shoulder. Vladimir placed a single fingertip beneath her chin to draw her upwards. Looking into pale green eyes he smiled tenderly.

How he loved that little wildcat even back then. Aiah challenged him at every turn. Physically, emotionally, and even spiritually - she made him think.

“Why did you have that look when the discussion turned to God?” He asked. They had gotten into a theological conversation briefly with one of the Orthodox priests and were talking about it afterwards.

“If the only reason a person is moral is the fear of divine punishment? They are no more than a psychopath on a leash.”

“Aiah!” He was scandalized.

“I don’t remember where I heard that but if you think about it? It’s scary. If the only reason you are not doing horrific deeds is because of the fear of punishment, what happens when that fear dissipates?”

“Would the fear dissipate?”

“I don’t know. Are you willing to take that chance?”

They were rarely apart for long when she was working with him. He permitted her to sit in as his interpreter in almost every instance. There had only been a single incident involving Syria that he couldn’t.

How many times had he told her to come into his office to work just so they could be in the same room? Her quiet presence was soothing. In those moments he often asked for her opinion. Even if he had already made up his mind, he wanted it. He valued her thoughts on the world more than he did most people. Even at just 20 years of age Aiah had more knowledge about politics than career politicians that had been elected officials longer than she had been alive.

He didn’t understand how that could possibly be and said so to her. She was 22 or 23 at the time and chuckled. The career politicians had to start as fresh as a newborn babe usually as an adult. She had been submerged in it her entire life. To Aiah, it was no different than growing up learning several different languages. There wasn’t a learning curve when that happened, it was simple learning.

She loved to surprise him and Vladimir never knew what she was going to do next. Aiah had spent two months learning how to make the absolutely most delicious pistachio ice cream from scratch. Why? She knew it was his favorite. He had mentioned seeing a burlesque show for the first time as a young man in Germany. So she perfected how to give him a proper strip tease and lap dance.

Now he was a man with many regrets. In the beginning, he tried to stay away from Aiah. He knew he loved her early on. Ignoring it, he used Alina to try and replace her. Except, there was no replacing Aiah. If only he would have been honest with her!

No strings attached was more apropos than he realized.

A friend of Aiah’s had given her a beautifully hand painted picture with a quote by Suze Orman on it. It sat in her home office in London. True generosity is an offering; given freely and out of pure love. No strings attached. No expectations. Time and love are the most valuable possession you can share.

What other person would have flown 4 hours on Christmas to make sure that he was okay? No one. Not only was it Christmas, it was her son’s 1st birthday.

Her son.

Vladimir provided the genetics and nothing more. When did he become that callous? Had he always been this way? Sighing, he couldn’t even begin to imagine the pain he put Aiah through.

She had to be in the office earlier than he shortly after they married. When he arrived, there was a 12 cm x 12 cm frame sitting on his desk. Aiah had written out in delicate calligraphy ten things she was grateful for in their relationship and then framed it.

He couldn’t believe that she would have gone through such trouble to make something so exquisite. Vladimir accidently knocked it off his desk and cracked the glass. It was placed in his desk so that he could get the glass fixed. The picture had been forgotten about. Come to find out, Elizaveta had destroyed it the day after he had fucked her for the first time.

Elizaveta.

Pain clawed at the back of his throat until he wanted to vomit. He was already fucking his secretary when Aiah threw the extravagant surprise birthday party for him. He was amazed that she was even able to keep the party a surprise. Now he realized it was because he had stopped paying attention to his wife.

Having left his own birthday party, he was fucking his secretary in stables.  

Vladimir had thought about purchasing a particular Ulysse Nardin watch. It was priced at 80 million rubles. It was a very limited edition with platinum, diamonds and sapphires. When he decided to purchase the watch, it had been sold much to his chagrin. Aiah bought it for him along with another Ulysse Nardin that had St. Basil’s Cathedral done in cloisonné on the face of the watch. That watch was ‘only’ 6 million rubles.

So preoccupied with Elizaveta, Vladimir wasn’t sure he even told his wife thank you.

He had grown jealous after they had married. It wasn’t because of another man. No, his beautiful Aiah loved him utterly and completely. That he had no doubt of. His jealousy stemmed from what she managed to do.

Aiah Corrington Putina was loved dearly by Russians. It wasn’t even the programming that she did for children. The television and books didn’t matter nearly as much as the projects she worked on diligently. Children and families all over the country were getting better healthcare, schools, and programs.

Aiah didn’t have time to fight it out with the Duma, so she didn’t. She was bringing in specialists that she knew personally. All over the world she called in favors. The specialists would rotate out month to month. In the short time they were married, she made changes that others thought to be impossible. Then she started doing battle with the State Duma.

As always, Aiah cut an impressive figure. Dressed in black Armani, she was stunning, immaculate and strong. Someone from outside of his party, United Russia, decided to play a joke on the soft spoken Aiah. She had been told that the microphone was broken. Having never heard her address such a large room before, no one knew how powerful her voice could be. Even Vladimir didn’t know. She didn’t need the microphone at all.

Aiah did exactly what she said she was going to do. Her measures sparked reform quickly. There was someone to answer to now. Never before had a ‘First Lady’ made such a bold political move. The opinion polls approval ratings for both of them skyrocketed.

Instead of being proud of his wife, he let the jealousy eat away at him.

Children were leaving the orphanages and going into foster homes. When an orphanage had not had any adoptions, someone best know why and how to change it. The money given for each child in the system was now being accounted for fully. It took a week of her working with a handful of programmers to design a completely new and automated system. In six months it was online across the nation.  

Each orphanage was teaching the older children the basics of surviving after aging out and getting jobs. Now the 11-17 year olds had classes on nutrition, money management, job interviews and other information that other children typically receive from their parents.

Aiah let hardly anyone know that she was working from London. Those that knew were few and far between. Dima and Svenka Medvedev weren’t even told.

She had lived full time in Russia for less than 18 months.

Yet, it wasn’t like it was before. When they would see each other casually, they had days to dedicate to nothing but their own pleasures. All of a sudden, Aiah had a new career and a child on the way. He was no longer her entire focus.

Vladimir found someone else that could do that. Instead of talking to his vivacious wife, he walked away from her. No, that wasn’t true. He ran to the arms of another woman. The honeymoon was over in barely two months.

Elizaveta was a relatively plain woman, certainly not the great beauty that Aiah was. He did that because of there was nothing exceptional about her then she would appreciate the attention she received from him. He fell back into the same cycle that he had before he told Aiah he loved her.

He pushed away the one he loved because she was the one that could hurt him. Instead of Aiah hurting him, he saw her dead. Vladimir Putin, one of the most powerful men in the world, cried alone in his hospital room. The horror of the pain and suffering he caused to a woman he promised before God and man to love and cherish hit him hard. He swore to Aiah that he loved her and he might as well have pulled the trigger himself. He was the reason she was gone.

It was the first time he ever truly wished to die. The bullets that took her away should have killed him.

The icy disgust in Aiah’s eyes when she walked away wounded him in a way that nothing ever did before. Immediately he stopped seeing Elizaveta. She was sent to a new office with her salary doubled. He wanted to beg Aiah to come home. He wanted to beg her to forgive him. Fear kept him from doing so. The rejection would have devastated him, so Vladimir said nothing. Immediately, he had forgotten about Elizaveta.

Unfortunately, she hadn’t forgotten him.

Elizaveta had seen Aiah at the airport and followed her. She killed Aiah in a jealous rage. Vladimir saw each of the bullets hit his wife. The security team in turn killed Elizaveta. It was for the best that they killed her, he supposed. Vladimir would have had the woman tortured otherwise.

He should have begged her to come home. He should have gone to see his son. Everything he should have done, he didn’t. Now it was too late. In a fit of anger, he began to rip out the IV lines and pull off the heart monitors. If his Aiah was gone, he shouldn’t be alive either.

A cool hand touched his forearm gently while he put his face in his hands and screamed with the pain he felt.

“Shhh. Vladimir. That isn’t going to do you any good.”

“Aiah?” He heard his voice tremble. Vladimir wasn’t sure if she was real or imagined.

“Yes?”

“A-a-are you alright?”

“Yes, I’m fine.” She lied. Aiah knew she was far from alright.

“Vadya?”

“He’s with my parents right now but I saw him not even an hour ago.”

“They wouldn’t tell me what happened to you. I thought you…..” His voice trailed off. “I thought you were dead.”

“No. Not dead.”

Aiah clung to life for weeks. Not only were there the injuries from the bullets but she had lost a lot of blood. It took the doctors what seemed like forever to get all of the bleeding under control. She had been in surgery for 21 hours. Aiah lost both a kidney and her spleen. There was a bit of damage to her liver and gallbladder as well. The liver would grow back and the gallbladder was removed. Since that day four weeks ago she had two more surgeries.

Aiah wasn’t supposed to be up and out of bed.

No one expected her to survive. The physicians and his daughters thought it would be best not to tell Vladimir of Aiah’s condition. His own health was somewhat precarious due to his age. There was concern that if he knew that Aiah was dying, his health would have taken a turn for the worst.

The first time she was able to sit up with a bit of help, she asked to see her husband. When she was told no, she demanded to be taken to her husband’s hospital room. When the doctor said no again, she climbed out of bed and was going to find him herself.

The surgeon compromised. Aiah would be allowed in a wheelchair in his room but not for long.

Vladimir studied his wife. She looked terrible. Dancing and sparkling green eyes were dulled from pain and the medications. The dark circles under her eyes looked as if they were bruises and he wasn’t sure if they weren’t.

If she weighed 44 kg he would be surprised. All of the gains she had made over the past year were gone again after being shot. The bruises from the IVs were horrible to see. Aiah was mildly allergic to adhesives. They didn’t know that at first apparently. Her arms and hands were covered in bruises and raw skin.  What he couldn’t see was even worse.

 “Aiah, my Aiah. I am so sorry. I am so very sorry.” He reached for her hand.

Shrinking back from him, a nod was as much of a reaction she could give. “I know.”

He dropped the bed’s railing down. “Come here, please.”

“I can’t. Everything is attached.” She motioned to the IV lines and the bags hanging from the metal poles at the back of the wheelchair.

“I know you have no reason to trust me Aiah. I cannot fault you for that. I love you and I’m willing to listen, to hear, and to make the changes I need to make.”

“Vladimir, we can work on that once we are both feeling better.”

"No. It cannot wait. You once loved me unconditionally. I can feel the walls surrounding your heart. I know it was me that put those walls there and I need to be the one that takes them down. I want to be that man again. I want to be a better man. I want to be the man you might be able to love again.”

"I never stopped loving you Vladimir.”

"I need you to love me and to believe in me once again. You aren’t just my wife Aiah. You have been my closest friend, dearest love and the one person that I could trust.  There is nothing more important to me than you and Vadya. I’m going to step down as President.”

“Why?”

“I know I do not have many years left. Permit me to spend them with you and our son.”

“Vladimir, if you wish to step down then do so. I won’t stop you. However, you will grow bored. You and I both know this.”

“In all the years that I have known you, I have never been bored with you at my side.”

“Please don’t. Don’t lie to me. You did get bored. You know that as well as I do.” The sorrow in her voice was heartbreaking. “Once I stopped being your pretty little whore you grew tired of me.”

“Aiah…..no. That’s not true.”

“Vladimir, I saw it. Elizaveta was on her knees sucking your cock. Just like I used to. I am certain that there were many other places you fucked her and probably the exact same way you did me. It’s over. We are finished.” Sighing, she was too tired to continue. “Goodbye Vladimir Vladimirovich.”

She wheeled herself out.

For three days Vladimir kept hoping that she would come back. She didn’t. Finally he got a nurse to take him down the hall so that he may see her. His daughter was coming out of what he assumed was Aiah’s room.

Masha stood in front of the door, not allowing for him to enter.

“You cannot go in.”

“You will keep me from my wife?”

“No, the doctors are in with Aiah and her family.”

“Masha! I am her family!”

“No, you aren’t. You don’t have a family. We are all just people you know. Occasionally we are useful but other than that we are meaningless to you.”

What she didn’t tell her father was that Aiah was dying. The surgeons were trying to find a way to save her but she was just not getting any better no matter what they did. The once tenacious woman had given up.

Tobias Corrington was in the room when Vladimir woke up in the middle of the night.

“What did you do to her?” The words were like ice.

“What?” Vladimir was still mostly asleep.

“Aiah is dying because of you.”

Is dying. Not almost died. Dying. Vladimir was still being given painkillers and it took him a moment to understand what Tobias was saying.

“We weren’t allowed to tell you before. Everyone was so worried about your health.” A sob escaped Tobias’ throat. Tears on his cheeks looked slivery in the moonlight coming in from the window.

“They had to go in to stop the bleeding again. My only child is in a medically induced coma. My little girl is dying. Her chance of survival is almost non-existent. The doctors? They have done all that they can. Now it’s up to her to live. Do you have any idea how that feels? No, of course not. Your daughters told me about your other children. You don’t give a fuck about them so why would you give a fuck about mine?”

“I swear to you, I love Aiah.”

“I’m not the fool you think I am Putin. You and I? We have a lot in common. Our training was virtually identical. Except I am not a fucking psychopath that is trying to pass myself off as a nice guy. I know exactly what sort of bastard I am. I would not hesitate to kill you right here and now if I thought I could get my wife and grandson out of this godforsaken place.”

“What are you talking about Mr. Corrington?”

“You cheated on my daughter.”

“Is that what Aiah told you?” She had said only Nastasia knew.

“No. She won’t utter a word against you. You bastard. You sick son of a bitch. You profess your undying love for Aiah and then you fuck your secretary behind her back. Aiah was pregnant with your child!! What sort of man does that?”

Tobias shook his head.

“If you honestly think that your henhouse doesn’t have foxes in it? Then you are even a bigger fool than I thought. I’ve seen the footage, all of it. I watched from the moment she arrived on my grandson’s birthday. I got to sit through a video of my daughter being shot.

I watched as the bullets hit her. I saw my child fall and the blood pumping out of her body. And then I watched her give up once she knew you were safe. That’s all that has mattered to her for 12 years now. You. You have treated my child like she never mattered. But you were all that mattered to her.

I took my daughter to the airport on her son’s first birthday so she could check on you. Your daughters wouldn’t even check on you. And mine loved you far more than you ever deserved.

She had been unconscious. She finally starts coming around and the first thing she asks about is her son and the second is you. SHE PUT HER OWN LIFE AT RISK BECAUSE SHE WANTED TO SEE YOU!”

Tobias’ face was red with hate and anger. Tears fell and were ignored.

“All my Aiah ever wanted to do was to help people. You fucking destroyed her. Now, she is back on life support. Now my babygirl is barely clinging to life because you had to get your dick wet. I hope you rot in hell Putin.”

Tobias Corrington was about to say something else when he heard alarms. He didn’t have to speak a word of Russian to understand what was being called over the intercom. Aiah was crashing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The song Aiah sang for him was ZZ Ward’s Move It Like U Stole It. Give it a listen!  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

15 April

 

It had been two months since Vladimir Putin left the hospital. He hadn’t spoken to Aiah since that one day she had gone to see him. It wasn’t for a lack of effort on his behalf. She refused all contact.

Tomorrow would be his first public appearance since January. While he had been working since a few days after his release, he didn’t make any appearances. He wanted to look healthier before he would permit the public to see him.  

He had just received notice that Aiah had arrived at her new home.

Closing his eyes, he ran his hand over his face. The only reason that he knew anything outside of the security detail that surrounded his wife was because of Aiah’s mother. Tobias Corrington had returned to the US after he confronted Vladimir but Clarice stayed behind to care for Vadya and Aiah.

Clarice kept him updated on Aiah’s condition. She was taking care of Vadya and insisted that Vladimir see his son at least a few hours a week. Hope was a fleeting emotion. Vladimir knew that as soon as she was able, his wife would return to London. There were ways that he could keep her in Russia but he wouldn’t. Aiah would despise him more than she already did.

He felt that it was odd that Clarice would keep him updated on Aiah. It felt so odd that he even said something to her about it.

“Vladimir, I liked you from the start. I saw the care you took with Aiah. I saw how you both looked at each other. Besides, you were one of the rare few that has the ability to understand my daughter. It’s something most people are simply unable to do. Tobias is like that. He doesn’t know what to do with her. It was one of the reasons why I made sure she knew that a man needed to be worthy of her.”

“I don’t understand.”

Clarice sighed and gave him a rueful smile. “Aiah is too willful, spirited, independent, and intelligent. My daughter can run roughshod over most people and they would never know it. She needs someone that is her equal, at the very least. Most men aren’t anywhere near her level of intelligence. The ones that weren’t? They all wanted to control Aiah. That’s like trying to control a storm, it just doesn’t work. You didn’t try to control my daughter. You knew that you needed to influence her. You two were well matched.”

 “It’s strange to be having this conversation with you Clarice.”

“I can imagine it is. I’m sure you realize that my daughter is a beautiful woman.” Clarice chucked.
But when she was still a girl, adult men would try to seek her out. It happened all the damn time. It was revolting.”

“But our age difference doesn’t bother you?”

“While she was young when you met her, she was still an adult. Aiah had been living alone for four years by that point. You weren’t a 55 year old man trying to hit on my 12 year old daughter.”

His eyes went wide disgust. “No. God no. That is vile.”

“Indeed. When we were here after she was kidnapped, Aiah and I were talking about her sparring with you. You both have completely different strengths and weaknesses. It makes it fun to have a go on the mats she said.”

“Yes, it did.” There was a note of sadness in his voice.

“Mum, she tells me. It’s fun but it isn’t real. If someone tried to go up against us in an actual fight? We would win. I asked her why and she said his weaknesses are my strengths and mine are his strengths. It evens out. My daughter was always good at allegories.”

“She had an interesting turn of phrase quite often.”

“Would you like some sage advice when it comes to my very stubborn offspring?” She didn’t give him time to answer. “I’ll tell you right now that you made a mess of this. My daughter has a forgiving heart but you waited far too long for easy forgiveness. There is a chance that Aiah may never forgive you for what happened. I wouldn’t blame her either.”

“Nor would I. My actions nearly killed her. There is nothing I have ever regretted more than this entire mess. A mess I created at that.”

“The odds are she will walk away from you and if she does? You will not see her again. I mean it Vladimir. My daughter is hard headed and stubborn. That is what you are looking at right now. She will be forever gone from you. If you want her back? You best start working on that now because it may already be too late. In the wise words of Pierre Jeanty, if you cannot swallow your pride then you aren’t thirsty enough for her love.”

When Clarice found out about what Tobias said to his son-in-law in the hospital she was furious. Tobias had been caught in a similar fashion that Aiah caught Vladimir. Tobias saw through his daughter what his wife must have felt. Clarice was six months pregnant at the time. There weren’t cameras on phones back then. Instead, his wife walked up to him and coldcocked him. She eventually forgave Tobias for what happened, but it took a long while.

Putin remembered Aiah telling him that while she looked like her father she was much more like her mother. He could see it easily. Mother and daughter were very similar.

There was a knock on the opened door. Looking up, he waved Dmitry Medvedev in to the spacious Kremlin office.

“Aiah Tobiasonova make it home yet?”

“Yes. I just received the alert.” Putin was expressionless.

“I’m surprised you aren’t there to welcome her.”

“No. It wouldn’t be appropriate.”

“Vladimir, we have known each other what, 30 years now? What happened between you two? You both were so happy together. I think you only relaxed when she was with you.”

“It’s of no concern.”

“Your wife almost died and has spent three months in a hospital. This is of no concern?”

“She is still upset with me.”

“You didn’t hire that woman. I understand her being angry at the woman but it wasn’t anything you had control over.”

“It’s a long story, Dima. Let sleeping dogs lie.”

“No.”

“No?” Putin looked up, surprised.

“You look like you haven’t slept in six months. I understand recuperating but my god man what is going on?”

“Aiah asked for a divorce.”

“Aiah? No!” Medvedev’s eyes widened. He couldn’t believe what he was hearing.

“She asked for a divorce before Vadya was born.”

“What did you do to her?”

“What makes you think I did something?” Putin did nothing to hide his irritation.

“Aiah loved you more than anything or anyone. She was devoted to you even way back when I first realized you two were having an affair. I saw it. We all saw it. Something would have to have happened for her to want a divorce. It wouldn’t be because she wanted another man. So, that leaves you having done something.”

He studied Dmitry for a moment. He hadn’t told anyone what had happened. Although her mother and father figured it out, Aiah had only told Nastasia. Nastasia wouldn’t betray either him or her. Vladimir supposed that it wouldn’t be difficult to figure out. He and Aiah were together at most everything and then she disappeared. The official statement was she had given birth to a boy and was taking time off to spend with their newborn son. 

“She caught me with another woman.”

Medvedev’s face fell. “No…..Vladimir, why?”

“I was a foolish and heartless bastard of the worst sort.”

“I concur. When did it start?”

“I was already with another woman when Aiah surprised me with the party for my birthday.”

“Why?”

“I don’t know. Because I thought I could get away with it? Because I let myself get away with it? Because I could and it was easy. I could even blame it on Aiah being pregnant. Any number of things could take the blame away from me but the truth is I don’t know what drives me to do that sort of thing.”

He did know. On top of the jealousy he was already feeling, Vladimir Putin was afraid. He pushed people away before they had the chance to push him away. He had fallen in love while at university. The heartache and pain he suffered because of that woman made him keep most people at a distance.  

If you don’t care about people, they can’t hurt you. The people that leave meant nothing. You cease being vulnerable to others if you don’t care. Thinking in such a way left him callous and in some ways, vulgar.

“Did she need…ah…a boost in the bedroom?”

Putin snorted and shook his head. “No. If every man in the world had a woman like Aiah in their bed? It would be a peaceful world.”

“So what happened?”

“I’m a selfish self-serving bastard.”

Medvedev rolled his eyes. “Show me a man that isn’t.”

“She wasn’t around as much.”

“Aiah?”

“Yes.”

“You and Aiah had kept the same schedules almost always. You arrived together and you left together. Was there problems already?”

“No. I just wanted something more from her.”

“You are telling me that because your wife was working in the next room and you didn’t get enough of her attention, you started an affair?” Medvedev was incredulous. “You didn’t talk to her about this? You didn’t explain to her any of this?”

Vladimir Putin gave his Prime Minister a withering glance and did not answer. “Aiah had a doctor’s appointment. I had made….ah. Other arrangements instead. The doctor decided to hospitalize her. She had lost too much weight. She came here to tell me and to show me the ultrasound.

Since she wasn’t here, I didn’t think to close the door between the offices.”

“It was Elizaveta.” Things were making more sense.

Putin nodded.

“I cannot even imagine the pain she felt seeing you with another woman. My heart aches for that poor girl. This is why we didn’t see her. She didn’t go on maternity leave, she just left.” Dmitry Medvedev shook his head in disgust. “And this is why you were missing most of the time for your own birthday party. You had the love of one of the most beautiful women in the world that would have done everything in her power to make you happy. So you go lie with a mangy dog? Where you even there for the birth of your son?”

“She confronted me and then left for London that same night. I wasn’t there for my son’s birth. I didn’t see Aiah again until Christmas when she was shot. It had been over a year.”

“Why? I know for a fact she would let you have seen Vadya. I know you get all sorts of pictures and videos about him as well. What happened there?”

“I don’t know.”

“Then why did she come?”

“Masha or Katya called her. We found out that I had another child back in Germany. Although, he is no longer a child. DNA confirmed it. I was no longer welcomed at my daughters’ homes because of it. The girls were upset. My grandchildren were upset because their mothers were upset. Aiah left her parents, Vadya and a mutual friend of ours in London to come check on me.”

“Let me get this straight. You weren’t at the birth of your son because you fucked another woman and your wife left you. She sends you pictures and updates but you say nothing? You don’t even see your son? Aiah, being a good and honest woman, doesn’t act on the prenuptial agreement you forced her to sign because she didn’t wish to kill you financially. 

You hurt this very woman so badly that she moves 3000 km away from you. Yet, she is the one person left in this world that loves you unconditionally. The thought of you being alone and in pain makes her return. She sacrificed her own Christmas and her son’s first birthday to come check on you.” Medvedev was incredulous. “I thought better of you Vladimir.”

“You should have known that is the man I have been all along.”

Medvedev made a sound of disgust. “You chased after her for how many years? I thought that maybe now you could settle down and be happy. So focused on what you were missing and you didn’t even realize what you had.”

“May I finish?” Putin was irritated. 

Medvedev gestured for him to continue.

“Aiah needed a glass of water so she could take her medication. I don’t even remember what happened next. I upset Aiah and she was leaving. She wanted to see my daughters and grandsons before she went back to London. I couldn’t help but think of how odd that was. My daughters love the woman that I cheated on their mother with but it is me that they hate.”

“Vladimir, you know that it took her a long time to build that relationship with them. And it was not Aiah that that promised to be faithful to Lyuda, it was you. Where does Elizaveta come into this?”

“Elizaveta saw her at the airport and followed Aiah home. You know the rest.”

“What are you going to do?”

Putin shrugged. “Nothing much I can do. She won’t talk to me. She won’t see me.”

“Have you signed the divorce papers?”

“Of course not.”

“Why?”

“I don’t want a divorce. I want my wife back.” He scowled.

“Maybe it is time for a change. Don’t worry about what you want. You got what you wanted when you cheated on your wife with another woman. Concern yourself with what Aiah wants. I remember when I figured out that you two were seeing each other. Aiah was the one doing all the compromising. Most of it couldn’t be helped because of security. What have you ever given her that was unconditional? What of yourself have you given her?”

“Stop Dima.”

“No. You are my friend Vladimir Vladimirovich but so is Aiah. Everything has been on your terms. She offered to let you keep seeing other women and you tell her that you were done with her. So, like any intelligent adult she leaves. She leaves and you cannot find her when you want her. You are angry. Over what? You told her you were done. You wounded her.

You were a bastard to deal with those 6 weeks. Once she reappears you moped about like a kicked puppy for months. It was your own doing that made her leave. Then you happen to see her at a party and once again you act the fool. You see her on the arm of another man and got jealous. Do you really love her and want her back or do you just not want any other man to have her?”

“ENOUGH.”

“No. Not this time. What was it? Do you truly love your wife or do you covet her like you did those damned watches she happily bought for your birthday. Aiah isn’t an accessory! You don’t get to switch out what wife you want with you today.

Think about your motives with her. People love her Vladimir.  Svenka and I do. My Ilya thinks of Aiah like a sister. Your daughters and their families do. Her family loves her. You say you love her but do you? All you seem to manage is hurting her in the worst ways possible. Is it because you know that you can be cruel to her and she will still love you?

Is that what this is? Is it because you have such power over her that you want to keep her?

How many times have you pushed her away? How many times have you shown her that she isn’t important enough to you? Once is too many. A lesser woman would have been broken by now.”

 “I didn’t deserve her is that what you are telling me? YOU THINK I DON’T KNOW THIS?!”

Dima Medvedev rose to his feet. Hands to his head, he couldn’t believe what he was hearing. “This has nothing to do with deserving. Aiah is married to you and is still one of the most sought after women in the world. Men and women STILL flirt with her. True to her nature, she politely stops them because she loves you. This woman had crown princes begging for her hand. She wanted none of it. She is stunningly beautiful, yes. A blind man could see her beauty. Aiah is also quite possibly the most intelligent person that the world has ever seen.  

But what you and others seem to forget is that she is kind and caring. She has worked harder for Russia than any ten people combined and that includes the two of us! Everything she has been through and everything you have put her through would leave most people cynical and bitter. And somehow this kind and generous woman sees the good in you. She continued to work for Russia even when she couldn’t be here she made sure that the things she wanted got done.

Vladimir, she only has eyes for you. You were given a gift. This is a woman that doesn’t need money, fame, power, or even status. She has all of it already. Not only does she already have it, Aiah earned it on her own merit. It wasn’t publicity like our PR did for us. Your wife earned it. All of it!

She wouldn’t even accept a gift from you because she was afraid it would seem inappropriate.

There was nothing that made her happier than seeing you happy. That sweet and tenderhearted girl would have died for you. Except now she almost died because you couldn’t keep your dick in your pants.

You get her pregnant. You marry her. And two months later you cheated on her? Why would you do such a thing? You cheated on Mila with Aiah and they become close friends. Your daughters enjoy her company. Your grandsons love her. She brought your family back together. They gave you a second chance because of her. You getting another chance had nothing at all to do with you Vladimir. It was solely because Aiah is a good woman and wants for you to be happy.

Your approval ratings fell to their worst. You mention you have someone you love and they go up. You two were caught and they go up even higher. You marry her and your approval ratings hit at almost 95% because Russians love Aiah. And she loves Russians and Russia in return. Again, it had nothing to do with you. Your ratings were in direct correlation to her.

Your wife became the First Lady of the Russian Federation and two weeks later she MADE major changes to get more physicians, dentists, and specialists for the entire country. In mere minutes Aiah managed to start solving problems that no one has ever been able to solve.

She figured out how to help children that are left in the care of the state. One month from the day you married her, Russians are seeing the changes. They are seeing the changes that she paid for out of her own pocket. What was it that she gave to Russia as a gift? Five billion pounds? All of this she did because of you. She loves you so damned much that she wanted to make Russia better for everyone.

And showed her exactly how much you love and respect her by fucking your secretary.”

The sound of a slow clap made both men look up abruptly.

“Thank you Dima. I’m not used to having my praises sung in such a manner. I appreciate your ability to be candid with my husband and standing up for me.” She quirked a brow. “Quite literally at that. However, I am back on my own two feet, eh more or less. I can take it from here.”

She was leaning against the doorframe that connected her office and Putin’s. Neither man had noticed her entrance. Aiah looked better than the last time either of them saw her. That, however, was not saying much.

She walked in slowly. Still shaky, the cane was necessary. Both men studied her intently. She was still so gaunt looking. If she weighed more than 43 kg, Medvedev believed he would have eaten his own shoe.

The dark circles under her eyes still looked like bruises. Only her hands and face were shown in the clothing she wore. Those slender and gentle hands were mottled with bruises and raw skin. Her normally shining and silky hair was lackluster, dull once more. The woman before them was a shell of the former Aiah Corrington Putina.

“Aiah…” Putin’s expression softened. “What are you doing here? Shouldn’t you be at home?” He rose to his feet and helped her to a chair before taking a seat next to her.

Turning her head, she gave Medvedev a smile. “Dmitry Anatolyevich, if you would excuse us please?”

“Are you alright Aiah?”

“Yes. Thank you. Would you please give my love to Svenka and Ilyusha?”

“Yes, of course.” He kissed her cheek gently. “You be careful Aiah Tobiasonova. Don’t make me send Svenka after you.”

“I will. Tell her we need to start training soon. We don’t have a lot of time left until it’s time to run the Siberian again.”

 Both Aiah and her husband watched him leave.

“Why are you here Aiah?” While happy to see her, Putin wasn’t in the mood to be scolded by yet another person.

“I came to see you.”

“What did I do this time?”

An eyebrow arched upwards. There was the barest curve of her lip. This time it wasn’t in a smile. She looked to him with annoyance. Clearing her throat, she looked directly into his eyes.

“I wouldn’t know. I just spent three months in a hospital. I didn’t get much news from the outside. So you tell me Vladimir, what did you do this time?”

He scowled at her but kept silent.

“I want you to read something.”

She handed him an envelope which he immediately opened.  

 

 

It’s been difficult thinking of you. Yet, I can’t stop the thoughts from flooding my mind. For almost 22 months there has been no relief from it. You shattered me emotionally first and then watched my very blood spill over your kitchen floor. For two months you saw my depression grow. I wouldn’t eat or sleep. I was expecting my first child and it should have been one of the happiest times of my life. It wasn’t.

You knew. You knew exactly what you were doing would hurt me. This wasn’t something accidental, no. This was deliberate disregard. You knew I would be devastated and it didn’t stop you

The manipulation of my heart and mind coupled with lies increased as did your cruelty. I knew it was over when you were indifferent to anything involving my child. You wanted nothing to do with me or my unborn son. I would take being shot again 1000 times versus the pain of your callousness towards Vadim.

I hesitated in giving him anything to do with your name. He almost was James Tobias Corrington. Vadya came into this world alone. The only people in the room besides myself were a doctor and a nurse. Who was I to have? 

There wasn’t anyone.

And oh how I hated you! Except it wasn’t you. I blamed you for disappointing me. In actuality I should have blamed myself for expecting too much.  I should have blamed myself for thinking I was different than any of the countless women that you have had.

I couldn’t understand why I didn’t give Vadya a westernized name at first. The realization was heartbreaking in an even different way. Even as hurt and angry as I am, I still love you. Something tells me that there will never be a time that I don’t love you.

I have loved you for so long that I have a hard time remembering a time without you in my life. My life has been split into three parts. Before you, I was a child. With you, I was a woman. Now, I am simply lost. I don’t know what the truth was and what were just lies on top of lies.

Even now as I sit and write this, I love you. You were the greatest lie I ever told myself. The first time I saw you in person my heart skipped a beat. That was the catalyst for the look I gave you. You were so very handsome. Everyone in the room looked terrified of you. Well, almost everyone.

I wanted to kiss you more than I wanted to breathe. I wasn’t afraid not because of my family’s politics. I wasn’t afraid because lust was overriding fear. I was perfectly happy with our afternoon fling. I never thought we would see each other again outside of business. 

Now? I wish I had been right.

For ten years we kept telling ourselves that there were no strings attached. I foolishly believed that I could walk away from you and not look back. I think I knew it was a lie from the very beginning. I simply didn’t wish to believe that it was lie.

When I left your hotel room in London, I knew then that you would never live up to my expectations. You would never be the man I needed you to be. Truthfully, I doubt any person can live up to my expectations. You and I? We should never have been anything more to each other than a onetime fling. I knew when I walked out of your hotel room that first night in London, you would never understand that I had worth.

Of course that is not what happened. Not only did we hurt each other we hurt those that we loved. It was wrong of us from the very beginning. I knew that from the start that you would be the only person that would be able to break me. That is my own fault, I knew and did nothing to stop it. I longed for something that could not exist and I failed to recognize that.

I never wanted us to fail. But we are no longer who we were when we first met. Perhaps for me more so than you. I was so young when we met that I never bothered to think about what our affair would do and did to others. Oh the folly of youth, only the young can be that selfish.

And I was that selfish.

If they will cheat with you, they will cheat on you. I had heard that phrase since before I knew what it meant. It’s true in many ways. Perhaps I would have eventually cheated on you. I don’t think I would but so far that phrase has been so true to heart.

We have a child now and he is far more important than either of us. Vladimir, I want you to know your son. I want you to be a part of his life. If I need to, I will get on my knees and beg you to not abandon Vadim. He needs both of his parents. He needs to know his father loves him. Your hatred of me should not transfer to your son.

If you don’t wish to sign the papers for the divorce, don’t. It changes very little in the long run. I would however suggest you change your will from me being the main benefactor. Leave it to your daughters or grandchildren.  I’m planning on returning to London as soon as I am cleared to fly. I will continue to send you pictures, videos, and all information on Vadim. Until, the day comes that you tell me to stop.

Always,

Aiah Corrington

 

Her signature was with her maiden name. It made him step back mentally. The pain of seeing her pushing him away on paper was heart wrenching. Swallowing, Vladimir looked at his wife again.

“You think I hate you?”

“Yes.”

“Aiah, no.” His shoulders sagged. “I love you. I don’t want you to go.”

Sighing softly, Aiah frowned. “You don’t love me Vladimir. If you did, Elizaveta would have never happened. You looked for a reason to have an affair and you found it.” She shrugged. “It’s for the best.”

“I love you Aiah. I love you and only you. ”

“Love doesn’t change that we don’t belong together.”

“Give us another chance, please?”

“No, no more chances. There have been far too many chances. It’s not just you and I. Vadya has to come first.” There was a note of sadness in her voice but her eyes were like stone, cold and unflinching. “I told you from the onset of my living here, you cheat and I will leave. It’s over.”

“You said it yourself, you love me. I love you. Explain to me why you are so desperate to leave. Do you have another lover?”

 “Good god, no. Of course not. I cheated with you Vladimir. I haven’t cheated on you.”

“Aiah, I can’t let you go. I won’t. You are my wife.”

“I am your wife in name only Vladimir. The minute you touched another woman, it was over. You know that as well as I do.”

Aiah’s cane fell to the carpet. When she turned her head to see where it went, she was jerked forward roughly. He had grabbed the arm of the chair and pulled her towards him so they sat side by side as closely as possible. Turning around she was met with a kiss.

She tried to pull away but to no avail. After struggling for a few seconds, she gave up. Her full mouth blossomed beneath his. Vladimir was gentle with his wife. He knew she had ceased fighting when her arms went over his shoulders and tangled in his short hair.

“Don’t leave me Aiah.” He whispered against her lips before claiming them again. “Please?”

“Vladimir.”

Kissing her again, he didn’t give her a chance to say anything more. His lips pressed to her throat now and Vladimir couldn’t help but groan as he tasted her warm skin. His fingers delved into her curls and he held her that way.

His lips teased the shell of her ear. “I am so sorry my angel. I love you. Do not leave me. Please my Aiah? I cannot live without you, I don’t want to live without you.”

 Somewhere between the steel of her spine and the softness of her heart, Aiah wavered. She began to cry.

“No my love. No. No tears. We are as one. I was a fool. I was a complete and utter fool. Let me repent my Aiah. Let me prove to you this is where you belong.”

“I can’t. I can’t go through this again.”

“I swear to you, you will never have to go through it again.”

“I don’t believe you are truly able to promise me that. It’s over. It has to be.” She trembled as she stood, barely keeping her balance. Picking up the cane, she looked at him. “Good-bye Vladimir.” She turned and left. Her body visibly shaking, Aiah made her long slow trek out of his office.

The driver of the state car that took her home and one of the other security men helped Aiah up to the flat. They radioed Vasili. Dr. Putina looked ill.  

“Aiah?” Clarice opened the door.

“I’m fine Mum. Shaky is all. I need to rest.”

“Bed. Aiah Giselle. Now.”

Clarice made her daughter some tea and brought it to her. “Do you want to talk about it sweetheart?”

“There’s nothing to talk about Mum. Although, hearing Dima read Vladimir the riot act was rather interesting.”

“Which Dima?”

“Medvedev, the Prime Minister.”

“Aiah, are you sure this is the way you wish to end things? I understand if it is. You have every right to leave him for what he did.”

“I can’t live a life that I have to wonder if my husband is faithful.”

“But can you live without him?”

“I don’t know. I guess I will just have to try.”

Aiah napped for an hour before wandering out to the sitting room. Vadya wasn’t even 18 months old yet but he knew his Mama was sick. He was as gentle with her as he could be. They laughed and played. They had a little snack as well. When he started to get sleepy, she read him a story before settling him down for his own nap.

Vadim had a head full of dark curls. He truly did look like Aiah for the most part. However, she could see his father in him too. Full lips were the same shape as Vladimir’s. His eyes were the same shape as her’s but the color was blue-grey. Already, he was a handsome little boy.

Putin cleared his schedule for the rest of the day and told his assistant that he was leaving. He paused. Then he cleared off an entire week. If he was ever going to see Aiah again, he had to do something.

Aiah and her mother were sitting down watching an American television show and relaxing some.

“I didn’t know Russia got US shows.”

“The joys of streaming Mum.”

They sat through a commercial for an instant access background check. Aiah started to giggle. And then giggle more. Until finally she and her mother were laughing loudly.

“If the US cannot seem to figure out if Russia hacked the elections perhaps they should call that number.”

“Did they hack the elections?”

“I have no idea. I never asked. As much as the US has meddled in virtually every country in existence today, it wasn’t one of my concerns. Truthfully? The Americans were daft to bring in another Clinton. The Dems might have had a better chance with Sanders but I doubt it. Honestly? I would prefer it if we did hack the elections. The sheer number of Americans being so bloody ignorant to have elected that buffoon? Horrifying at best.”

“What do you think of our new Prime Minster?” Clarice had lived in the US for years but like most expats from England, she still considered England home.  

“Good lord Mum. He is a mess. Violine said that Her Madge has had it. She is damn near ready to do away with Parliament and take back control herself. After that, the first thing she will do will be restore British rule of the States and everything would return to an old fashioned monarchy.”

Clarice started laughing. “What did you say to V?”

“Told her Volodya could make BoJo beg for mercy with a twitch of his eyebrow. Our dogs are by far more skilled at politics and public relations than that smarmy racist git is. Both him and that orange shit gibbon you have in the White House? Complete and utter tossers.”

“Aiah?”

“Yes?”

“Go and talk to Vladimir. Give him a chance. You still love him. I hear it in your voice and think about what you just said.”

“Mum, don’t. Please don’t. I can’t do it.”

“Why?”

“It’s just going to happen again.”

“You are right. It could very well happen again. But if you run away with your tail tucked between your legs you will never know. You will wonder what would have happened if….” Clarice looked her daughter in the eye. “You will keep wondering that until your husband dies. Then you are going to be even more miserable than you are now. Life is meant to be lived Aiah Giselle. It’s not meant for you to cower in fear from what ifs. You sure as hell didn’t learn that from me. Now get your arse up and go call your bloody husband.”

No one answered, so Aiah left a message. She wasn’t upset by him not answering. As a matter of fact, she didn’t expect him to actually answer. Anything could be going on from WWIII to he was in the loo. Loo. She chuckled. Proof she had been around another Brit.

 There was a knock on her bedroom door.

“It’s open Mum. He didn’t answer.”

“He didn’t answer because his phone is in the car.”

Aiah swung around, realizing that it wasn’t her mother’s voice. Moving a little too quickly left her unsteady. In a flash, Vladimir grabbed Aiah and pulled her on to the bed so she didn’t fall. There was worry and pain in his blue grey eyes.

“Aiah! Are you alright?”

Nodding she looked at him. “Uhm. Yes. Thank you. What are you doing here?”

“I came to see you.”

“Why?”

“I refuse. I refuse to permit us to be finished. You are my wife. Goddamnit Aiah, I’m not letting you go without a fight. I was a fool. I made the same mistake with you that I have made with every other woman I have been with. It sounds convoluted and it is not an excuse. I loved you too much and sabotaged our relationship.”

She looked at him wearily.

“I love you Aiah. I love you so much that it terrifies me. If someone took you from me? I would turn over the keys to the Kremlin just to get you back. Do you understand that?”

“Yes. It was why Mum and Dad schooled me the way they did. Sometimes you really can’t negotiate with terrorists.”

He closed his eyes. Most people couldn’t even fathom such a thing but of course she could. “For you? I would. In my fear I pushed you away. It wasn’t until Dima told me off that I realized what I was actually doing.”

“This is all a bit overwhelming.”

“Would you like me to leave and come back another day?”

“No. I’m still taking quite a bit of medication so my thinking is slow. Otherwise I am okay.” 

“Aiah, knowing that I not only hurt you but disappointed you? There is nothing that I have regretted more. You are the only person I have loved more than myself. I am a self-serving, cruel, and thoughtless bastard. I have lied to everyone I have ever known. I was jealous of your popularity and instead of discussing it with you, I ran. My sweet Kitten, I have never been sorrier for anything in my life. I don’t want to say the words. I want to prove to you with my actions that I mean what I say.”

“Vladimir, that’s not true.”

“It is true. That doesn’t mean that I am always terrible. However, it is part of me. I’ve been like this since childhood. Somehow you have managed to see past the worst parts of me.”

 “I don’t look past them. When you love someone you love all of them, including their faults. I don’t love pieces of you. I love all of you.”

“Do you still love me Aiah?”

“Yes.” Her lip trembled.

“I love you. And I will do anything humanly possible to prove to you that I do love you. I know it doesn’t feel that way right now. But these aren’t just words. I swear to you that they aren’t. I don’t care how long it takes, I will prove to you that I am telling you the truth. I need you to give me that chance. Please Kitten. Give me that chance. Permit me to prove to you that you are the woman I love. Please?”

She had opened her mouth to say something but instead burst into tears. There was no stopping that onslaught of tears. Vladimir knew that. Aiah needed time to grieve still. She had spent the last 18 months maintaining a façade of sorts and hadn’t had the time to take care of her own pain. So he gathered his wife in his arms and let her cry.

Helping her to lay on her side, Vladimir wished he could take away all the hurt Aiah had suffered because of him. The crying slowly stopped. Before long, she was asleep. For the first time in 18 months, Aiah slept soundly and of her own accord.

Aiah only slept about 30 minutes but upon waking she felt more stable.

“Feel better?”

“I am so sorry. I didn’t mean to fall asleep.”

“I didn’t mind.” He smiled looking at her.

“Still, it was rude.”

“Aiah, you just got out of the hospital. It wasn’t rude.”

She sat up abruptly. “Vladimir, I don’t know what to do. I love you, yes. I am also terrified. You will be tempted again. I have no doubt you will be tempted. I cannot go through this a second time. I barely survived the first.”

The sadness in his eyes was startling. He was a man that knew his faults and he knew she was right. Vladimir picked up her hand with the utmost of care. The bruising and raw skin looked painful. She was still healing, he knew.

He touched a fingertip to the base of her right ring finger. You could no longer see where the wedding rings had once been. Actually, they had been separated far longer than they ever been married. Swallowing hard, he was barely hanging on.

“Aiah, I am the biggest fool to have ever lived. What I did to you? It was atrocious and heartless. As much as I want to promise it will never happen again, I cannot. We both know better than that. I can promise to do my best. I can also promise that I will keep on learning, evolving, and maturing. I am asking you to take a chance with me.”

“Vladimir, it’s too late. I cannot heal from this. I’m not sure I want to heal from what happened between us. The wounds keep me safer. I have spent all the emotion I can spend on you. I have Vadya to think about. You may thought you loved me just like you thought you loved Alina. It’s impossible to love someone that is disposable.”

 “Aiah, I beg of you……”

“No. It’s over. I’ll arrange to have my lawyers contact yours. We can work out some sort of agreement if you wish to see Vadya. I hope you do want to see him. As for the divorce? Do what you want to in regards to that. You have my blessing to do what you want when you want as a free man. It’s time to move on.” Gingerly, Aiah rose to her feet and opened the door. “Goodbye Vladimir Vladimirovich.”

“Aiah……”

“No.”

Slowly he rose to his feet once again. He wasn’t going to give up, that he knew. However, he did step away. The door was quietly closed behind him.

Wanting to cry, she sat down at the end of her bed. Aiah needed the exhaustion that comes with catharsis. Except, it wouldn’t come. She was numb. That wasn’t true. Numb would be a blessing. The pain was simply dulling other senses. Every insecurity she ever had, suddenly reared up and roared in her mind.

Rising, she needed a drink. Looking around, she didn’t see her cane. One step. Then two more. Aiah was afraid of falling again. Already she felt unsteady. Falling, oh the irony! She fell the first time over 12 years ago.

At just 20 years of age she had fallen so hard and so fast that Aiah didn’t know what the hell she wanted other than him. Even now, she wanted nothing but him. The ultimate in betrayals and still her heart cried out from the man that nearly killed her.

One more step was too much. It took her to the floor. A wail of fear and pain was torn from her lips as her body smashed against the polished wood. Closing her eyes, the room spun out of control.  

Vladimir was with Aiah first. He had been in the hallway trying to decide what he could possibly do to save their marriage. The crash of her body hitting the floor scared him and he ran to his wife.

Using Aiah’s phone, he called for the emergency physician.

Aiah wouldn’t remember what happened. But when she fell from losing her balance, it triggered the memory of being shot. Locked into the flashback, she screamed and screamed. Something she hadn’t been able to do when she was actually shot. The emergency physician for the President and First Lady of the Russian Federation had arrived in less than 10 minutes later.  

Aiah’s eyes opened slowly. It took her a few seconds to realize that she was in her bedroom.

“Mum?” Groggy, she was trying to get up. Wincing, it hurt.

“Yes sweetheart?”

“What happened?”

“You fell. How are you feeling?”

“Like I got hit by a lorry.”

“Good. Maybe it knocked some sense into that stubborn head of yours.”

“Thanks.”

“Sit up Aiah Giselle. It’s time you and I had a talk.”

“About?”

“Your father.”

“What did Dad do?”

“You father never wanted you to know about this. He didn’t want you to think poorly of him. I called him and told him you were about to learn what happened.”

Aiah finally sat up fully and decided that was a no. She dropped her head back down towards her feet while sitting in the lotus position. “Okay?”

“I was six months pregnant with you and stuck on desk duty. I think that might be the actual reason why you never had any siblings. Desk duty was horrid. I had gotten off shift early and went to pick him up. We were in Germany and only had the one car at the time.  I walked into his office and he had his secretary pinned up against the desk and was kissing her. Neither saw me come in, luckily. I tapped your father on the shoulder. He thought he was about to yell at a subordinate and I coldcocked him. He dropped to the floor like a wet sack of shite.”

Turning her head towards her mother, tears filled Aiah’s eyes. “….Mum….”

“That is the real reason why your father disliked your husband. While it was never proven, Vladimir Putin was known to be a philanderer. Then your father saw exactly what it did to you. For the first time in over 30 years he knew how horrible it was for me.”

“Why did you stay?”

“I loved your father.” Clarice answered simply. “Your father saw a lot of himself in Vladimir. He had seen it back when he was in the Army and then when he worked with Joseph. Seeing your devastation and the aftermath of the shooting?

Your father felt that he was at fault for you being hurt. Karma or some shite. As for me? I decided to stay because I loved him. We signed agreements that if he was ever caught cheating again that he would be the one to leave. And by leave, he forfeited everything. That included his parental rights, rights to the home, all of our belongings. He would get the clothes on his back and nothing more.”

“Well I suppose it is safe to say he didn’t cheat or at least didn’t get caught.” Aiah pinched the bridge of her nose. “Mum, I don’t want Vladimir to do or not do whatever out of fear. I don’t know what to do. I need time to heal and I haven’t had time to bloody well think straight let alone anything else.”

“Aiah, you won’t heal without Vladimir. I know this from my own experience with your father. You and I are so much alike. You will always feel like there is an open wound inside of you. ”

“Is this why Dad has always been so bloody weird in regards to me?”

“Yes. Your father made a mistake. He was terrified that karma would make it harder on you. It’s a blessing and a curse to love someone so much that they have the power to decimate you.”

“Fucking hell. This is giving me a headache Mum.”

“That is probably from your fall and the drugs actually. The fall triggered something about when you were shot it looked like. So the doctor gave you a sedative.”

“What time is it?”

“Late afternoon.”

Aiah nodded. “I need to call Vladimir.”

“He’s in the sitting room with Vadya. I didn’t like the idea of Vadya being alone while you and I spoke. I am going to take Vadya out for a little bit. It will give you alone time with your husband. Just do me a favor Aiah Giselle. Keep your arse in that bed. One fall is bad enough. Another will land you back in the hospital. I mean it. Stay there. If you have to go to the loo have your husband help you.”

“Yes Mum.”

It was only two minutes later that he was at her bedroom door. “May I come in?”

Aiah raised her eyes to him and nodded. She didn’t trust herself to say anything. The bedroom didn’t have any chairs so he sat at the foot of the bed on the very edge.

“You can sit next to me Vladimir.”

“I don’t want to make you uncomfortable.”

Aiah blinked and then all of a sudden started to laugh. “You have fucked my ass so many times as hard as you possibly could and I begged you and pleaded with you for more. You did the same to my mouth. I had rivers of mascara running down my face because of you gagging me with your cock and you are worried about me being uncomfortable with you sitting on the bed fully clothed?!” She covered her mouth with her hand to stifle more laugher. “Vladimir, I swear you are fine.”

“Well, when you put it that way.” He slipped off his shoes and sat next to her.

“I don’t know what to do.”

“Will you listen to me? Don’t talk just listen?”

She nodded.

“Aiah, there is no way I can possibly convey to you how sorry I am. You have every right to hate me. You have every right to banish me from your life. I don’t know what I can do to show you that I want to change. I don’t know if I have the ability to change. This has been a part of me longer than you have been alive. It is such a risky venture for you, even Grisha would have warned you away from it.”

The mention of Grisha made her smile.

“Even the thought of another man touching you intimately? I would want to destroy that man. To have seen something like that? I don’t know what I would have done. And here I am begging you for another chance when you witnessed the ultimate in betrayal. Aiah, I don’t want to live without you. A life without you isn’t a life. It’s just existing. And still, I can’t swear to you that I can change.

I can only speak from my own perspective. I am trying to be as honest and candid as I possibly can. That isn’t something that comes second nature to me these days. I don’t see Elizaveta as the betrayal as much as it was how I turned away from you. Do you know how many hands I have shaken, babies kissed, and children hugged? Hundreds of thousands. If not more. That I turned you away is where I see the ultimate in betrayals when it comes to you Aiah.”

A deep breath was taken by Vladimir. He exhaled slowly. He did it again. And again. Aiah said nothing. He wasn’t done and she knew that. This was a pause so he could speak and not be so emotional that he couldn’t make sense.

“I lost the one person that actually mattered to me. I lost the only person that I loved more than myself. It wasn’t because I didn’t love you enough. No, it was because I love you too much. It sounds trite. Maybe it is, I don’t know. I hate myself for ruining us. For hurting you. Aiah, the hate doesn’t ebb and flow. Now it multiplies. Now there isn’t even a single part of me that doesn’t wish for death in some form. I wish I could wipe the slate and start over anew.”

Vladimir looked to his wife. Sitting up with her legs stretched out and her hands resting on the comforter between her knees. Even now, she was beautiful. Aiah’s hair had a mind of its own. She had stopped doing battle with it when she was still a teen. Long looping curls fell forward as she looked down. As agreed upon, she said nothing.   

Soft curls fell forward and it created a shadow along her high cheekbones. Those curls were like black ink swirls on a tipped piece of paper, they did their own thing just as Aiah always had. Fiercely independent, with hair so dark against skin so fair she looked more like a fairytale princess than a living and breathing woman.

Vladimir knew every inch of her body. Unlike other women, there had never been a part of her that she held back from him.  Aiah never kept something for herself to be auctioned off as a prize. Oh it’s my arse you want to fuck? Buy me something shiny. That was never her.

Even in the beginning, sex and affection had been different with Aiah. It took him years to figure out why and it was so very simple. She enjoyed sex as much as he did. The affection took even longer to figure out. She cared and took great pleasure in touching him.

She shared herself with him in the most complete and complex of ways.

It was why he was able to enjoy his time with her. There wasn’t anything about Aiah that was simply for show. Even when she dressed up like his whore, it was because she knew that he enjoyed it. It wasn’t a show, it was a sign of her love.

Now it was just a memory.

They would lay together and relax. Before sex, after sex, just enjoying each other – the why never mattered. She would caress him with such a soft touch along the back of his head. It bothered him at first because she was so young. And he? He was not.

His thinning hair and balding was not something a woman so beautiful should have to endure. When he said that to her, Aiah cupped her hand over the back of his head and she made sure he felt each brush of her fingers. It would have made him angry if anyone else had tried but her? He couldn’t be angry.

“Vladimir Vladimirovich! I do not endure anything with you. I enjoy you. All of you. Now, if there is something you do not care for, please tell me.” She had scolded him like he was a school boy and not one of the most powerful men in the world. Aiah straddled him then. Her green eyed gaze was soft in the warmth of his hotel room.  “Vova, if there is something about yourself that you are displeased with don’t automatically think that I feel the same. I can assure you I don’t feel the same.” Oh how she smiled! She brushed her index finger along his lips before kissing him tenderly. He didn’t realize it then but she told him that she loved him.

Other than a pair of earrings and an occasional necklace, she never wore jewelry. He asked her about it once. Rings and bracelets took away from her interpreting often times. Although her nails were always well manicured, she didn’t wear nail polish. The bracelet he locked around her wrist had been the first one she wore since she was a teen. Then the tiny silver thread. The one string they kept attached. They were both gone. So were the wedding rings he placed on her fingers. Gone.

Shifting slightly, she used a gentle touch so that he looked at her fully. Saying nothing, Aiah pressed a kiss to his third eye. It was brief and it was chaste but to him? It was priceless.

 “What was that for?”

“For being open and honest with me.”

“You think I haven’t been honest with you before?”

“That is not what I meant. I think that is the most open you have been with anyone in many years, including yourself. You gave me a gift. You allowed me to see part of your soul that you never expose, even to yourself.”

Staring at her, he had known since his teens that to love someone as profoundly and deeply as he loved Aiah was a risk. It was only she that could cause that sort of pain in which he would want his life to end. That didn’t mean he was suicidal. No, it just meant that there was nothing as beautiful as the once shared love between them.

“Aiah, I pursued superficial relationships and one night stands before I met you. You turned me into someone I never wanted to be. I didn’t want to have feelings. I didn’t want to care. With you? I had no choice. I was…no…I am a coward. My entire life I felt that emotions left a man weak. Except I was wrong. To have them and to share them takes strength. Emotions gave me you.”

He signed and rested his head in his hands.

“Falling in love with you was so easy. You made it easy. The sparkle in your eyes when you saw me. The way you would sleep against my shoulder and smile. I always wanted to know what made you smile in your dreams. I hoped it was me.

I had all these damned defense mechanisms in place and you ignored every single one them. You waltzed right into my heart like you owned the place. Then I realized that you did. You were what scared me the most. While you wanted me, I needed you. I needed you to show me that I was still human and I was something that could be loved. Perhaps I even could deserve the love you bestowed on me. I want to show you something.”

He pulled up something on his phone and handed it to her. It was a folder simply marked Aiah.

Michael McDermott – Dance with me

Etta James – At Last

Frank Sinatra – The Way You Look Tonight.

Alison Krauss – When You Say Nothing At All

Elvis – I Can’t Help Falling in Love with You

Forest Black – Love Me

Michael Bublé – The Way You Look Tonight

Heartland – I Loved Her First

ZZ Ward – Move It like You Stole It

Grace Slick – Dreams

Jeff Buckley – Hallelujah

 

There must have been 150 songs in the playlist. She just looked at a handful of random ones. “All songs I have sang to you.” Her brow creased. “Except one. Heartland’s I Loved Her First was the song I danced with my father at our wedding.”

He smiled and nodded. “It was important because it was at our wedding. You remembered. Aiah, every time I see you. And I mean every time. You could have been gone for less than a minute and come back. Every time I see you, I fall more in love with you. There isn’t a thing I wouldn’t have done to keep you safe. Unfortunately, I didn’t realize that I needed to keep you safe from me.

I didn’t understand what a selfish bastard I truly was. All the love that I have for you grows each time my heart beats. It’s unending. But it is selfish. I wanted you all to myself. I know why our relationship is over. I finally do. As much as I love you, I killed us. I have no right to ask anything of you. I knew the risk. You told me the last time you came back to me. I was a fucking idiot. I have only one hope left. Perhaps one day you can forgive me and we may be friends once more.”

Swinging her leg over his, Aiah pulled herself across his lap. She grunted in pain but it didn’t stop her. Wrapping slender arms around his shoulders, she buried her face against his neck and cried. She sobbed loudly. With her heart screaming in time with the onslaught of tears the trauma of his affair, all Vladimir could do was gently stroke her back.

Touching her was perhaps the most painful moment of them all.

Never before had she felt this sort of frail. The Aiah he had known was strong and muscular. Athletic and lean, her body was sweetly curved. She had always felt so alive in his arms. This woman in his arms was not the same he had known. She was fragile and broken. Underweight and scarred, Aiah felt nothing like his Kitten. And it was all his fault.

Desolate, her body shook with great racking sobs. Primal were the cries that soaked his neck from her tears. Vladimir held his wife tight but gently. The pain he caused had been close to breaking her, he understood that now. Knowing the agony he caused her? It was unbearable. But if they were to heal at all, they both had to feel it. Now, his own tears fell.

They both gave way to the enormity of their loss and grief.

Together, it was more than just crying. This was desolation. This was two people drained of their faith in others. Little by little the tears stopped but they did not speak nor move. Holding on to each other was the only thing they could manage in those moments.   

Pulling back, Aiah looked to him. She was surprised to see his tired appearance and his own tears. The collar of his shirt was limp and wet with her tears. It was the first time since she caught him with Elizaveta that she was given the man and not the façade that had been created to hide his deeds from her.

“Thank you.” She spoke quietly.

“Whatever for?”

“Showing me that the man I fell in love with was still in there somewhere. I haven’t seen him for a very long time.”

“I don’t understand.”

“You closed yourself off from me here…” She touched his forehead. “And here…” She laid her hand over his heart.

“I did?”

Nodding, Aiah shrugged. She moved away from him to sit back on the bed. He could feel it. She was doing the same thing he had done. She did it to protect herself while his had been to keep a secret. The walls were closing in around her again.

Grabbing her quickly, it took nothing to drag her back to his lap. “You aren’t going to hide from me Aiah. I love you. I need you. I cannot bear the thought of letting you go. You and our son belong here with me. I will walk out this door and call a press conference and resign right now if that is what it takes to keep you with me. Anything you want, it’s yours. There is nothing that is more important to me than you and our Vadya.”

“Vladimir…..”

“Here and now, you tell me what you want. If you want me to give up fighting for us, I will. You tell me what you want and I will do it to the best of my ability.

“I want what I have always wanted, you.”

“Do you love me Aiah?”

“I don’t know how not to love you.” Her voice sounded haunted, broken. “I tried. It didn’t work.”

“Do you love me?” He asked again.

“Yes. I love you.”

“Good. I love you Aiah. I love you so damned much that I don’t want to live without you. That isn’t a threat. I’m not suicidal. I need your love like any other man needs to eat or breathe. Your love gives me life. I am a better man when I am loved by you.”

There was a warm blush on her cheeks. It made his chest ache. She was so pale. When she had come on Christmas Day to check on him, her beautiful green eyes held sadness but she was healthy.

Her dark curls were like a ripple of silk as she walked. She was in control of her body then. It had been honed to perfection for no one but herself. Aiah didn’t work out the way she did to look good. She did it because it felt good to know she could protect herself.

“Do you wish to try again?” His voice was quiet.

Aiah stared at him for several minutes before she nodded. She laid her head gently on his shoulder, exhausted. Gently, Vladimir curled her closer to him and held her in his arms. They stayed that way for quite a while.

“Did you purchase or are you renting the flat?”

“Neither. It’s not mine. My parents purchased it.”  

“I’m surprised your father would be willing to do that.”

“It was a battle with him and Mum. That’s for certain. They were out in the hallway of the hospital arguing about it. While I didn’t see it I swear she pinched his cheeks. I did hear her say Yer daft teacake, but I love ya. He tried arguing further and Mum said to him something like tha’kin allus tell a Yorkshire lass, bu’tha can’t tell her much.”

“I thought your mother was from London, like you. Aiah? I think I understood maybe 1 in 5 words.”

“You can always tell a Yorkshire lass but you can’t tell her much. Yorkshire has its own dialect. She probably spent more time in London than anywhere else but the family is all from northern England. They have birth records going back centuries. It’s almost a game at times. Trying to figure out how far your family goes back. Or how you are related to someone.”

“Do you remember the first time you stayed with me overnight?”

“It was at your hotel in London. I had walked out on you the night before. What about it?”

“Why do you not like sleeping with people? I do mean sleep, not sex.”

“Oh.” She chuckled. “That is actually a twofold answer. When you and I started to see each other, I didn’t have a lot of experience with men or women for that matter. I never stayed overnight with a lover before. You were my first and only. It was too intimate for me to do with anyone else.”

“You didn’t sleep in the same bed with the actor?”

“Aleksandr Sokolov? No. Never. When I was little, Karl and I would nap together. Same with me and Logan. I crawled into bed once or twice with my Mum and Dad.”

“How are you feeling?”

“About?”

“Your health. Do you feel alright?”

“Mostly.”

He gave her a look.

“It’s going to take a while before I can claim being healthy again. I am working on it.”

“I have a proposition for you.”

“Once again I am being propositioned by President Putin of the Russian Federation.” Aiah chuckled.

He shook his head. “Yes I am. I cannot be with you all the time. It just isn’t possible. You haven’t been released from the doctor have you?”

“No. I haven’t. I have at least another couple of months before they even begin to consider it.”

“Would you consider going out on a date with me?”

“A date?”

“Dinner and a movie, a night of dancing, taking our son with us some of the time and having your mother watch him, if she was willing that is. We never had the chance to just be normal people. I know where we go is limited. Some of it might be limited to our home even. Let us start over. Let us just be together until you are healed up.”

“I like the idea. Thank you.”

“No. Thank you Kitten. You gave us another chance. Although, I may need to rename you.”

“Oh?”

“Ravens like to steal things and you stole my heart when our eyes met for the very first time.”

Aiah blushed brightly. “I love you Volodya.”

“I love you my Aiah.”

 



  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

The weeks went by quickly. Aiah had just put Vadim down for the evening. It was hard to believe he was almost a year and a half old. Her mother was attending a Victory Day get together with Nastasia. Clarice’s Russian went from non-existent to fairly good in a span of two years.  Nastasia’s English did the same. It made the conversations interesting when it would all flow together in a hodge-podge mix between the three women.  

At the insistence of Vladimir, there was security with the two women.  

She did have a chance to make it to the parade and speech, but not for very long. Aiah was proud of her husband. His care with the veterans warmed her heart. It was very much appreciated as she grew up with both parents in the armed forces.

Because of her parents, Aiah was very much involved with veteran affairs. Just like she did with children, she made sure that the veterans had access to medical care across the entire country. She was still working on getting more general practitioners in certain areas but it was going well.

By her estimation, there should be no one going without something that was needed. Food, shelter and medical care were just the bare bones. However, other projects were coming together that would pair veterans with school children in the classroom. The reports were fantastic thus far and she made sure to send people she trusted to oversee the projects. There was a good natured joke amongst the people helping on the projects. Who would be worse to disappoint, the President or his First Lady? The vote was split nearly 50/50.

Aiah was still walking with a cane but she stood proud with her adopted country. It would have been permissible for her to sit given her injuries but she wouldn’t. Amidst the calls of URAAAA! URAAAA! The First Lady leaned heavily on her cane.  

Once Sergey Shoygu reported in, Vladimir started his speech. Aiah sat back down. She couldn’t help but smile. Her husband loved his country. It amused her greatly that he was feared throughout the western world. She knew it was perspective. The world didn’t see him play with his son or how he and Vadya would stretch out on the sofa and have long talks. There was something about the sound of his voice that Vadim loved. All he had to do was hear his father’s voice and the 18 month old would chatter back happily.

There was something in the speech that moved a man sitting near her to tears. The older gentleman was a WWII veteran. Aiah walked over to the man and took the unoccupied seat next to him. Gently, she laid her hand on his forearm. With her long hair and pale green eyes, she was easy to recognize. When the gentleman realized who she was, his eyes went wide.

Leaning in, she whispered to him quietly and thanked him for his service. When she offered her hand in thanks, the man beamed with pride.

They watched and listened to the President quietly. When Vladimir called for a minute of silence, the gentleman offered his arm to Aiah. Her smile had matched the one he had given her and she happily accepted. Together they stood at attention and mourned those that had been lost.

“Konstantin Ilyavich Cherkashin at your service Dr. Putina.” He tipped his hat to her.

“Thank you Konstantin Ilyavich. I appreciate your service both to our country and in helping me stay upright like a proper Russian.”

He smiled with pride. “It was my pleasure Dr. Putina.”

“Are you going to the tea after this?”

“My rank was not that high to be permitted.” Still, he smiled proudly.  

“Nonsense. You served the Motherland. You fought for those of us that came after so that we may have a good life. That means your rank was that of a general and you should still be treated as such. You will go, as long as you wish to.” Aiah made sure of it.

“Thank you Aiah Tobiasonova.” He was choked up that she would do such a thing.

“Konstantin Ilyavich, it is my pleasure. Truly. I hope your family is as proud of you as I am. You bring honor and integrity to your family. The President will be proud as well. A soldier of the Great Patriotic War helped Vladimir Vladimirovich’s wife to stand tall as a Russian should. You have my gratitude.”

The older man teared up again.

Aiah took his hands in hers and gave them a squeeze. “My Mum and my Papa both were in the military. There is no greater honor than for someone to serve their country. Those of you that have done so should always be shown great kindness and respect. You sacrificed for all of us. It is men like you Konstantin Ilyavich that permit all of us to stand and be thankful.”

When one of her security men came to fetch her, Aiah gave Konstantin Ilyavich her card. It had her numbers on it. She made him promise that if he needed anything he was to call her without hesitation. Before she said her goodbyes, she kissed his weathered cheek.

While Aiah thought she had gone unnoticed, it was not the case. The men and women saw what she did. They saw the honor and kindness she paid to a stranger.

Many of the men that had fought in WWII came to Aiah and thanked her while she was being escorted back to the car. While she did not serve in the Russian military, she served her adopted country in other ways. Konstantin Ilyavich along with over two dozen men and women who fought in the Great Patriotic War stood proudly for a picture around the blushing First Lady of the Russian Federation. They accepted Aiah as one of their own.

Making herself a cup of tea, Aiah was dressed comfortably in a long white gown made from the softest of linen. She sat with herself for a moment and reflected on her life. While not religious at all, there was a small bit of hope that Grisha could see his family and was proud. She missed the older man greatly. He was both a father and a grandfather figure to her when she needed him to be but most of all he was her friend.

Curling up on the sofa, she set the book aside for now. Aiah felt peaceful for the first time since before she caught her husband with another woman. She wasn’t angry at him any longer. There were still places where her heart felt battered and bruised but, with time, those too would heal.

A knocking on the door woke her up. Finding the book on the floor, she rubbed her eyes. Whomever it was had to have permission to be on this floor, still she looked out before opening the door. It was Vladimir.

“What are you doing here so late?” Her smile was tender. She was happy to see him.

“I wanted to see you. But I see I woke you up.”

“I was reading. Would you like to come in?”

“Very much so. I can’t stay but a few minutes. I have a very early morning tomorrow but I wanted to see you.”

“May I get you a drink?” They were going downstairs to the television room.

“No thank you.” He couldn’t help but smile at her.

“Vladimir Vladimirovich you are up to something.” She took a seat on the large sectional.

“Aiah Tobiasonova, what makes you think that?” He teased her in return.

She laughed softly. “I know you.”

“Yes you do. I heard about what you did today.”

“What do you mean?”

“At the Victory Day parade.”

“I didn’t do anything.”

“You comforted one of the veterans?”

“Oh. Yes. Konstantin Cherkashin is his name. He was quite the gentleman. I feel like I may have startled him some unfortunately.”

“Konstantin Ilyavich Cherkashin. Today was his 100th birthday. Nobody knew he was there. Nobody said anything. His friends, his family, everyone is gone. He came today waiting to die Aiah. It was his most ardent wish that this would be the last Victory Day he would ever see.”

“What? No! Volodya. No. We need to do something.”

“Shhh my kitten. Calm yourself. I’ll explain shortly. This is for you from Konstantin Ilyavich.”

He handed her a folded note and a small box. With a crease of her brow, Aiah began to read.

                Dearest Aiah Putina,

I am an old man. Today marks the day that I have lived for a century. I was barely more than a boy when I fought in the Great Patriotic War. I have outlived my friends, my family, my children and my wife. I believed there was nothing left to live for until today.

The kindness of a great woman gave me hope. When Vladimir Vladimirovich married you, many of us were upset – angry even. We felt that our President betrayed us. The one person who would have his ear at all times was not one of us. When we should have trusted in our leader, we didn’t.

 I owe you and our President an apology. You were born of foreign soil, yes. Except your heart beats like ours for the Motherland. When you came over to me, you did not see an old man but you saw a man.

Your kindness will never be forgotten.

I wish for you to have this small token of my gratitude and apology. It isn’t much but I had purchased it for my wife many years ago. I hope you are able to accept my apology.

Sincerely,

Konstantin Ilyavich

 

 “Open it.”

 In the small box was a ring. “Volodya, I cannot accept this. It’s too expensive.”

“Kitten, you cannot return it. Once everything was checked over to make sure it was safe, I went to see him. Konstantin Ilyavich had cancer. He knew his days were numbered. You permitted him to let go of the pain because someone openly and honestly cared. For the few moments his service was remembered and praised, you gave him a gift that no other has given him in a very long time. It was the greatest gift he could have been given. Kitten, you gave him respect. So, he tried to return it in kind. Konstantin Ilyavich passed away approximately three hours after the tea. Which is why I was so late getting here.”

Aiah didn’t know what to say or do. She stared at the ring for several long minutes before looking up at her husband. “Thank you.”

“What are you thanking me for?”

“Everything. Will you put the ring on me please?”

“It would be my pleasure.”

Vladimir slid the ruby and diamond ring onto her left middle finger. He knew how much that ‘small token’ was worth. Holding her hand, the ring fit like it was made for Aiah alone. It was a habit of theirs that started when he proposed. Other than her earrings, if Aiah needed her jewelry removed he would do it for her. It went especially so for her wedding rings.

“Who can find a woman of valor? For her price is far above rubies. I found her. That’s who.” He kissed the back of her hand. “I was able to speak with Konstantin Ilyavich. Vasili’s brother was in charge of everything for him.

“Veniamin? I know there is another brother but I don’t know his name.”

“Yes. I didn’t know you knew him.”

“He was part of my detail in London. He is the youngest, doesn’t have a family yet. That is why Vasili sent him to London. Apparently Veniamin used to do specific stunts with cars for TV and movies. He broke his pelvis and retired from being a stuntman. So, he joined the FSO. Outside of Kolya, I don’t think there is anyone that Vasili trusts enough to be my driver except Veniamin.”

“There was a little mishap at the tea.”

“Is everything ok?”

“Of course. Konstantin Ilyavich was told by someone that he wasn’t permitted to be there. Veniamin took care of it immediately, of course. The man was a general and he wasn’t going to back down. After all, in his head, he out ranked Veniamin. He even said that.”

Aiah rolled her eyes.

“General Kuznetsov didn’t realize I was standing right behind him and could hear everything. I cleared my throat and told this Kuznetsov that in matters of the military yes he was higher ranking than Veniamin. However, my wife will always outrank him and it was she that invited Konstantin Ilyavich.”

“Vladimir!”

“It’s true. Your invitation was at a far higher level than Kuznetsov would ever achieve. General Shoygu does not outrank you Aiah.”

“Please do not say that to Sergey Kuzhugetovich!” Aiah smiled softly. “You would hurt his feelings.”  

“I had a chance to chat with Konstantin Ilyavich. He told me how he and some other veterans at the assisted home he lives in had felt betrayed that I took you as my wife. They had been rather displeased when we announced that we were married. Your kindness changed that. Konstantin Ilyavich had arrived just in time for his evening meal. He sat with the other veterans. They weren’t friends but they weren’t enemies either.”

“That is heartbreaking. Why weren’t they friends?”

Vladimir nodded. “Yes it is. Why? Fear. Everyone has died around them and if they become friends it is just more pain in their hearts. These three men come up to me after I arrived to apologize and let me know what was said. You always think what you do doesn’t matter. It does Aiah. It matters to the people that need kindness the most.”

“I don’t know what to say.”

“You don’t have to say anything. Just know that you make a difference.”

“On a larger scale, I know I do. The one on one? So much seems trivial.”

“It’s not. Aiah, my Aiah. I often feel that I have done the worst disservice to our country. I never thought to let Russians truly see the magnificence of the woman I married. I never showed them your sweet nature nor your kind and caring heart. I was wrong in keeping you all to myself.”

“No. You were not wrong. Allow my actions to speak not me.”

Chuckling, kissed her nose. “You look as innocent as a girl in this nightdress of yours.”

“I hope by now you know I am not innocent.”

“Oh I know.” He smiled at her.

“Will you kiss me Volodya?”

Vladimir slid an arm around her slender waist. Leaning in as if he was going to kiss her, instead Aiah was jerked forward so that her body collided with his own. Every bit as passionate as he was possessive, they were both left breathless.

He pulled back slightly to look into her eyes. “Do you still want this?”

“No. I don’t want this. This is nothing. What I want is you. I’m not asking for permission this time. I’m taking what I want by any means necessary.”

She kissed him. Aiah’s hands slid over his shoulders and held her husband tight. Straddling his lap, their kiss took an unexpected path when he parted her lips with his tongue. Hot, fiery, passionate - but most of all the kiss was demanding her surrender.

There was nothing more selfish than an affair. Vladimir knew his actions would have a devastating effect on their marriage and did it anyway. While he demanded her surrender, she returned the sentiment of that kiss in kind. They both welcomed each other back, heart and soul. In those seemingly endless moments they surrendered to each other.

In less than a blink of an eye, she was riding his cock. Against her lips, Vladimir groaned. It had been so long, too long. Fingers didn’t just touch skin, they brushed each other’s soul with fire. Gazes locked and lips parted, husband and wife held on to each other for their own survival.

She kissed him again and again. They were one again. In those long slow minutes that they never wanted to end, it was as if they never had been parted. While neither would realize it in the pleasure soaked moments, they never had parted.  Utterly drunk on each other, they found their climaxes easily.

Afterwards, they leaned against each other. Both were afraid to speak. For if they did, would they break the magic shared between them? It was Aiah that moved first. She lifted her head from his shoulder to look Vladimir in the eye. She brushed a single fingertip along his jawline.

Aiah was reminded of a discussion from years ago. He had already had cosmetic procedures done prior to meeting her but they were becoming more frequent. He had asked her something, she couldn’t remember what but she told him that if he wanted the procedures done because that is what he wanted, she was fine. If he did that because of her? He needed to stop immediately. She had been 25. It was just before his 60th birthday.

“What are you thinking?”

Aiah lowered her eyes but smiled all the same. “When you and I would part, until the next time we could see each other, I would grieve. You were such a large part of what made me deliriously happy, it was painful. I didn’t recognize it for what it was then.”

“What was it?”

“It was the price we pay for loving someone.”

“I understand.”

“Do you?” Aiah looked hopeful.

“I thought it was superficial at first. I would miss your pretty green eyes and your sweet smile. I would miss the way you felt in my arms and the taste of you on my tongue. While I missed those things, Kitten? It wasn’t all I missed. I missed how I felt with you. A piece of my heart stayed with you always. I have loved many people in my life. My parents, my children, friends and family have all been loved by me. It wasn’t until I realized I was in love with you that I understood there was a difference.”

“For two rather observant people Volodya, we were bloody blind.” Aiah smiled and kissed his lips.

“I don’t want to leave you like this but I must go, unfortunately. I have an early meeting. Kitten, I will miss having you with me.”

 “Sergei?” She was certain he would be interpreting.

“Yes. He is good but he is not you.”

“Don’t go. Please? Stay the night with me. I’ll have you up at whatever crazy hour you want.”

In the early morning hours Vladimir Putin sat in his office at the Kremlin. The meeting was supposed to be brief but it really didn’t matter, at least not yet. He had another hour before he would see anyone.

Vladimir balked at spending the night with his wife last night. Not because he didn’t want to. Lord no. He wanted that little minx like nothing else. They had already taken things too far. She hadn’t been released from the doctors yet.

Smiling, he shook his head. Last night he was still inside her when she folded her arms across her chest and gave him a look. Aiah reminded him that she too was a doctor and since it was her body, she knew better than anyone else what was or wasn’t good for her.

He agreed to stay.

It was the best night he had since their wedding night. They talked like they used to when they were 3000 km apart. They talked and they listened to each other. Hope and laughter filled them both. Then they made love lazily into the early morning hours.

When they finally rested, Aiah laid her cheek against his chest. His fingers stroked through her hair. Vladimir couldn’t help but smile. Her chin tipped upwards so she could look into his eyes.

“Tired?” He kissed her nose.

“No. Just relaxing. You feel amazing.”

“Amazing.” Vladimir chuckled. “I have never understood what you saw in me kitten.”

“That is because I didn’t see it at first, I felt it.”

“Oh? Pray tell?”

Aiah buried her face between his arm and ribcage. She gave a muffled response.

“Are you embarrassed?” He laughed and pulled her on top of him. “There. You aren’t going nowhere until you tell me.”

“Which one of us has a meeting in the morning?”

He smacked her bare arse playfully. “You think I won’t cancel?”

“That I could make worth your while.” Aiah smirked.

“Of that I have no doubt.”

“I thought you were handsome when I was just a girl. You always appeared to be so suave. I couldn’t imagine what a woman would have to do to catch your eye.” She chuckled. “You were always surrounded by beautiful women, especially the athletes. I was so plain, I never would have had a chance.”

“You thought you were plain?” He was surprised.

“Prior to being sixteen? Puberty was not kind to me. I finally began to fill out and grow into my features at sixteen.”

“Kitten, I have seen pictures of you. You were a beautiful little girl.”

“You haven’t seen much in the way of pictures from when I was 12-15. I was hitting growth spurts in the oddest of ways. It’s a family thing. Logan went through it too. From what I have seen, so did my father.” She smiled.

“What on earth did you think about our age difference then?”

“I didn’t. You do realize my father is almost 20 years older than my mother yes?”

“No I didn’t.”

“Dad’s had a wee bit of cosmetic work done because he doesn’t want to look that much older. Mum just rolls her eyes at him.”

“This sounds vaguely familiar.”

Aiah rolled her eyes at him.

“I already found you attractive so that wasn’t what I was paying attention to. When I looked into your eyes it felt like you were looking to my very core. You were reading everything about who and what I was in that single look. There was no way I could have stopped you, even if I wanted to. It was so intimate that I forgot how to breathe and the world fell away. No one has made me feel that vulnerable before or since save for you. It didn’t scare me either. It excited me.”

“You realize Lavrov noticed the look between us.”   

“Lavrov notices everything.” Aiah chuckled.

Vladimir needed to catch a little bit of sleep. Resting but not sleeping, Aiah watched over him. A smile curved her lips. Not everyone saw him as she did, this she knew very well. There was something that looked almost innocent when he slept.

With his face relaxed and a faint smile upon his lips, Vladimir Putin resembled the boy he once was. He wasn’t the cold monster that so many people painted him to be. Behind closed doors, he didn’t have to worry what others thought or how a look could give away his hand. The freedom he felt when it was just the two of them allowed him the luxury of laughter and smiles.

In the hours long past midnight she listened to his steady breathing and felt the beat of his heart against her hand. It was in these moments that she knew how much she loved him. In the quiet hours as he slumbered, she fell in love with her husband again.

Aiah woke her husband with her lips around his cock. With his hand on the back of her head he forced her down when he came. Even gagging she didn’t spill a drop. He fucked her hard from behind after that. He wasn’t satisfied until she screamed his name into the pillow.

Vladimir didn’t want to go and leaving Aiah behind was one of the hardest things he had to do. Oh he wanted her there at his side. However, he said nothing. The sooner she recovered the sooner she could be back where she belonged, with him.

He had jerked off in the shower with thoughts of her while getting ready. Christ, he was almost 70 years old. He should be slowing down, but no. He wanted her again.

So much of her lingered in this very office where he now sat. Closing his eyes, he remembered that first time. It was her eyes that captivated him in such a way. Everything read demure about the woman except her eyes. There was a hidden promise of something very interesting in those pale green depths.

Vladimir wanted to find out what that was when he asked her if he could kiss her. His little minx was not nearly as innocent as she looked. It had been a surprise to find her wearing silk stockings with a six strap garter. Those straps framed her from both the front and behind.

Aiah was gorgeous coming or going.

He had pulled the g-string from behind and snapped it. With her bent over his desk, he plunged his cock into her. Tight and wet, she felt so fucking good. He didn’t start to thrust yet. He was going to enjoy this sweet little thing for as long as he could. The back of the dress was unzipped, exposing more of her milk white skin. His fingers traced up her spine and to the back of her neck where he kissed that soft skin.

She mewled with pleasure.

Vladimir left a suck mark on her shoulder. Even if only temporary, she would be reminded for a couple of days what they did in his office. That very first time he went painfully slow, savoring every bit of her he could touch. His fingers found the lacy cups of her bra and he pulled it downward.

Hard nipples were teased and pulled. She arched back into him with her body begging for more. Aiah was one of the most physically beautiful women that he ever had. And Vladimir had many beautiful women in his lifetime.

So many years ago he knew that she was exceptional. The sheer control she had over her own body was unlike anything he had prior. Yet, the way she responded to his touch made her glorious. They played that game for hours.

When he had her on her back with her head hanging off the desk Vladimir Putin thought he might die.  The black bands of her stockings were just centimeters away from her exposed wet cunt. With her head hanging off the desk, he fucked her mouth.

Gentle as can be, her hands gripped at his hips. That sweet little mouth was like nothing he ever felt before. Lips, tongue, and even her teeth all became something that dreams were made of. She stroked his balls with loving affection while he forced himself deeper into her throat.

He spilled himself into her mouth, arse, and cunt. If it wasn’t for the time, he would have taken her again. Not since he was a very young man had he been able to cum that quickly and be ready for more.

Vladimir smiled to himself in the empty office. It was still that way.

Aiah having righted her appearance looked the part of the demure young woman that she was. Before reapplying her lipstick, she paused and kissed his cheek.

“Thank you for a lovely afternoon Prime Minister.” And she turned to leave.

“I want to see you again.” He blurted out.

She turned to face him with a jet brow arching high. The little minx was surprised, he could tell. Lush red painted lips lifted into a gentle smile. Aiah had said nothing when she handed him her business card. Although, she knew his staff had everything on file there was something about her giving the card to him personally that made Putin smile.

Looking at the card, he noted her office was in London. “I’ll be in London in two days to see Brown. Are you available?”

“No. But, sometimes I can extract myself.”

And she was gone.

He couldn’t help but chuckle to himself. He never would have guessed Aiah would be the one sharing his bed all these years later. No, that was wrong. He would have never guessed that his little minx would be the one that owned his heart all these years later.

“I heard you had a good time last night.” Clarice handed her daughter a cup of coffee.

“You heard eh? Who did you hear it from?” Looking up to her mother, Aiah thanked her for the coffee.

“You and Vladimir. Neither of you were exactly quiet.” Clarice smirked at her daughter.

“Bloody hell Mum!” Aiah turned scarlet.

Vadya, who was eating his breakfast, laughed happily at his mother. Aiah wiped his face and hands off before giving him some homemade applesauce. Nastasia and Clarice made a fresh batch earlier in the week.

“Thank goodness little boys are washable!” Aiah told her giggling son.

“Did you get any sleep?” Clarice sat down with her own coffee.

“Me? No. I will take a nap when Vadya does. I let Volodya get in an hour or so, he had an early meeting.”

“Up until last night I was a wee bit concerned about your needs not being met due to the ahh…age difference.”

“MUM!”

“What? I worry about my daughter.”

“Bloody Yorkshire women.” Aiah mumbled.

“Have you seen this?” Clarice handed Aiah her tablet.

It was a Buzzfeed article titled Who Is Dr. Aiah Putina and Why We Love Her? Glancing through it, the article seemed to be well researched. All of the information looked to be correct. Scrolling more, it was very complimentary with the exception on a couple of things that were neutral. When she scrolled to the next page, Aiah’s eyes went wide.

“Bloody hell.”

“What’s wrong?”

“Just the number of pictures. I don’t think you and Dad have this many of me. It’s a slideshow.”

There were pictures of Aiah from when she was just a toddler up until within the last few days. Certain parts were focused on, like her friendship with Nelson Mandela or her fencing career in the Olympics. A great number of them were from press photos while she worked. There were some that were sad and others that were funny, especially the ones with her and Obsidian.

“Damn. I didn’t know any were taken that day.”

“Which day?”

“Mosque attacks.”

Aiah pointed to two pictures. One showed her on her knees wailing in agony over what had happened. The loss of Karl and the losses Karl had caused were painful. The picture of her on her knees was in black and white. It showed every bit of the pain she felt.

The Muslim communities were bright and beautiful in Russia, especially Moscow. Aiah had a number of friends that were part of the community. When they did their fundraising for charitable causes, she matched the amount raised.

The same was done with the Christian and Jewish communities as well. She would match the amount. Very few people knew that Aiah did that and she asked that it be kept that way so that she may continue to help others.

In the second picture, her face was red from crying and mascara stained her cheeks. Vladimir held her close, comforting her. The room the picture was taken in had no lights turned on just the filtering sunset through the window. It was raw. It was emotional. And it was heartbreaking.

Another was of her with the survivors. Not only did she make sure that their physical needs were taken care of, she tended to their mental health as well. Because of the work she had done in Muslim countries all over the world, many wealthy members of those countries spent billions of rubles helping the four mosques rebuild.

Another was an official photo from their wedding. Yet another was a very pregnant looking Aiah smiling at the closing of the last state ran orphanage in the Moscow Oblast. Some were from the marathon and others were official photos from the television show.

There was very recent picture of Vladimir carrying his son. Vadya was asleep with his head on his Papa’s shoulder. On his other shoulder was the diaper bag since Aiah was still using the cane. It had been taken when they were on a date.

“When was this one taken Aiah? I don’t think I have seen it before.

“I didn’t know that was made public.”

There was a series of pictures that Vladimir had requested. He had planned a very romantic Valentine’s Day for them the first February after he and Lyudmila divorced. Russia hadn’t always celebrated the romantic holiday. It became more popular in the 21st century.

The staff was asked to take random pictures of them. He had wanted to get a spontaneous romantic photo. The top three photos would be given 10000 rubles each.

He and Aiah had been outside romping in the snow with the dogs. When they sat down to throw balls for the dogs, the picture was snapped. They had leaned toward each other over the pile of dogs to give one another a kiss. The second picture was Yume poking her snout between the two of them. It ended up looking like they were kissing the Akita.

He was in a black and white snow suit and Aiah was in a red and white one. With her hand against the back of his neck, she leaned in once more. Soft lips were a glossy pink. When they went to kiss again she pulled away just a fraction. It was gorgeous and anticipatory. That had been the winning picture and there it was for the world to see.  

“Oh god.” Aiah laughed and pointed to the picture.

“Oh feckin’ hell. That bloody picture just can’t stay gone.”

Mother and daughter vacationing from several years ago. Logan and Noah were the ones taking the picture. The next picture was Noah and Logan with her in between them. Aiah had on a string bikini that looked as if it was made just for her. Tobias actually had someone complain to him that his daughter shouldn’t wear something like that with men around.

“Which one is this sweetheart?”

The picture was of Aiah and Vladimir dancing at the Embassies Ball. The way they looked at each other was beautiful. It was easy to see the love shared between them.

“That was when Vladimir made it known publically that we were together.”

The next picture was absolutely stunning. It was the day before they married. They were expecting guests and were standing outside with the dogs. With his arm around her waist, Aiah had laid her head on Vladimir’s shoulder. They were both smiling at each other like they just shared a secret.

The final picture in the slide show was when she was working the very first time in Russia. Aiah recognized it right away. It was taken when she saw Vladimir for the first time. She had never seen this picture before. No wonder Lavrov noticed.

Unable to help herself, she stared at the picture. She didn’t look all that much older, physically. However, looking at that picture made her realize that she wasn’t that young girl any longer. Aiah was a mother and a wife now. Aiah was the First Lady of the largest country on earth. Realizing that she didn’t want to be that girl, made her smile.

“Mum, do you have plans for today and tonight?”

“Do you need a babysitter?”

“Yes.”

“Aiah, go have fun.”

“Thank you.” Walking back to the bedroom, Aiah called for a car to be brought around in 90 minutes. Then she called her husband’s administrative assistant. Vladimir was going to be free in 2.5 hours. The assistant was going to make sure that he stayed that way. Thinking about it, she called Peskov as well.

Stepping out of her bedroom, Aiah ran into her mother.

“Darling, you look beautiful.”

“Wish me luck Mum.” She picked up her clutch just as the knock came on the door. 

Aiah arrived with ten minutes to spare. Checking in with Vladimir’s assistant, he was on the phone. It wasn’t with anyone that needed clearance, however. Walking in silently, it took a good 20 seconds for Vladimir to realize she was there.

When he finally looked up and saw his wife, he was left speechless. Whomever was on the phone was given a very hasty goodbye.

Pushing back from his desk, Vladimir came over to his wife. His eyes raked over her in surprise. She wore the same dress that she had worn when they met for the first time. He had thrown her across the very desk he had just been sitting at and fucked her senseless.

“I suppose I can’t call you Prime Minister any longer, can I?”

“May I kiss you?”

“No, you may not.”

Aiah tugged sharply on his tie. Full lips curved into a half smile. That velvet rasp of her whisper made him shiver. She looked as if she was going to kiss him but retreated. Pale green eyes studied him for a moment before she spoke.

“This is where we began. It can be where we end, the choice is yours to make. You have one chance and once chance only. No more lies, cheating, or hiding. If I even think that you are up to something that I would disapprove of in our marriage, I’m gone. You are either my husband or you aren’t. I’m done with games. I am finished trying to figure out what means what. So, now I ask you, do you truly want to start again?”

“More than anything Aiah. I want to start again. I want my wife and my son with me. I want you. I need you.”

“You are mine Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin. Mine.” Her voice softened. “And I belong to you. I’m yours and only yours. There is no man that can compete with you my Volodya. There never has been and there never will be.”

She ran her fingers down the silk of his tie. Pale green eyes were downcast, making her look somewhat shy. It took Vladimir a moment to realize it wasn’t just a look. Tears gathered on her lashes like diamonds but they did not fall. Meeting her husband’s gaze, there was a blush upon fair cheeks. The first smile she gave him was tentative. Pain resided behind that smile and Vladimir could see it. He could also see the love Aiah had carried with her all this time.

At first, it was almost like a platonic peck. He could tell that she ached for his touch. Aiah craved him just as much as he craved her. That she could still love him was something he couldn’t fathom but it was a gift like no other. The antici……..

-pation was killing Vladimir.

He knew that this single kiss was important. It was Aiah willing to begin again.

Aiah smiled once again before drawing him closer with her hand tugging on his tie. Another kiss. It was soft and sweet. That time it lingered keeping them connected. She nipped the lower swell of his lip, teasing it with her tongue. When he tried to deepen the kiss she wouldn’t let him.

Pulling back just a bit, she looked into his blue eyes. Fingertips touched lightly along his cheekbone and a slow stroke of her thumb brushed along his lower lip. It was there she focused soft little kisses.

He couldn’t take it. Her touch. Her lips. They were the softest of strokes against his skin. Aiah pressed closer. Full breasts were crushed tight to his chest. Unable to help it, Vladimir wrapped his arms around her waist and held on.

A single word slipped past her parted lips and it danced along his skin. “Vova.”

Her full lips pressed to his own once more. This time they parted and welcomed him.

Vladimir kissed his Kitten with the full knowledge that she was the woman he loved and would be the only woman he loved. He could barely contain the joy he found in that knowledge. This woman was his. HIS!

“Do you hear that? That is my heart speaking directly to yours and saying welcome home.” Pressing his forehead to hers he smiled. His strong blunt hand cupped her cheek gently. “Aiah, I have never loved anyone like I have you. Oh my Kitten, I love you.”

“I love you Vladimir.”

When he smiled and drew her closer, Aiah kissed his smile. Soft lips pressed to his mouth and her body curved against his. Vladimir’s hands rested against her back. Even white teeth nipped at his lower lip and it was there that she suckled gently.

Walking her backwards until her arse hit the back of the desk, his hand slipped under the dress. It took seconds before he was inside her. Their kiss was brutal as was each thrust. Arms over his shoulders Aiah maintained eye contact with him.

Brutal. Hard. Fast. And silent. It wasn’t just fucking or even making love. It was about connecting together again. It was about the shared love and each other. And it was over in minutes. Their pleasures spent, yet they stayed connected.

“Let me clear my schedule for the rest of the day and we can go home.”

“No need. I cleared it for you. I may or may not have threatened Peskov that if he dare contacts either one of us I would destroy his phones and laptops.” Her smile was a touch sheepish.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

When they returned home, Yume almost knocked Aiah over in her excitement. In the middle of the floor, Aiah sat down with the Akita and loved on her. The other dogs quickly came over. With their master chuckling, he did the same. Leaning over, Vladimir kissed his wife’s smile.

“It’s good to have you home Kitten.”

“It is good to be home Volodya.”

He watched her closely as all their dogs wanted Aiah’s attention. Her once very long hair was now only past her shoulders. While still not well, she looked better. The doctors were finally allowing her to build her strength up some with gentle exercise such as swimming. There was color in her fair cheeks once more.

 “What have I done?” He whispered quietly.

“I don’t understand.”

 “Come with me Kitten, please?” He offered his hand to her.

Aiah was still confused but she stood and took his hand. Together, they walked outside. Although, neither speaking. Leading his wife, Vladimir paused just past the stables, remembering his birthday and what he had done. Taking a deep breath, they went to a clearing where they used to sit together and toss balls for the dogs. There was absolutely nothing special about the spot, except to them.

“I put this out here earlier thinking we could spend some time together like we used to.”

Spread out on the ground was a large blanket. Two smaller blankets were folded next to it and there was a bottle of Pinot Noir, Aiah’s favorite, along with two glasses as well. Taking a seat, he tugged upon his wife’s hand and nudged her in front of him. Vladimir wrapped his arms around her waist only to prop his chin up on her shoulder.

“Look up.” He whispered against her ear.

“What am I looking at?”

“The night sky. The moon. The beauty of an evening shared with someone you love and who loves you.”

“Vladimir? What’s going on?”

“Regret my dearest. Regret. I am an old man and a foolish one at that.”

“Vladimir….no you are not.”

“What have I done in my life to deserve a woman that would love me as you do? Nothing. I didn’t and still don’t deserve you. What harm did I do to us? What harm did I do to you? I don’t mean the initial harm but long term, years from now. And I have no answer to any of the questions. All I know that I will forever wish that I was a better man for you and for us.” He sighed.

With his arms around her, Vladimir realized just how fragile his wife felt beneath his hands. Over the many years they shared, at times Aiah had looked fragile but he knew better. They had gone to the mats together to spar. He had felt the strength in body.

Prior to the shooting, she still fenced with regularity. He loved to watch her fence. She trained with the Olympic teams often. Aiah was ferocious and noble in her whites. It wasn’t often they could take her but when the men or women did she cheered for them louder than anyone.

He had watched her take down men three times her size while training with Aleksandr and others. There were few people that could move with the skill and grace that Aiah could. While she wasn’t a large woman, she was strong.

Aiah no longer felt strong. He knew that it would take time. Vladimir knew she was having to be gentle with herself. An injury would be hard to heal from in her current condition. Never before had he seen her like this and it was something that startled him each time he held her close.

Inhaling sharply, Vladimir remembered seeing the bullets hit her body in quick succession. The explosion of blood was like a fine mist. He remembered seeing the knife block crash to the ground with her.

Aiah had slid one of the knives under her hand. She was dying with the pool of blood spreading around her and still she was ready to fight. Aiah would never remember what had happened in those moments, but he would.

It had been an off chance that Kolya was at the residence that night. Normally, he wouldn’t have been there but he had needed to check in with one of the other men. They were sending a new team back to London before Aiah was to return.

It was Kolya that got to Aiah first.

It was her faithful bodyguard that killed the woman that had a gun pointing to the back Aiah’s head. Two bullets crashed through the front of the frontal lobe of the woman that would have killed Aiah. Vladimir had seen when luminous green eyes raised to look at the man in charge of her security. Even as she lay bleeding to death in the kitchen that once was hers, Aiah told him to “Take care of my Vovochka for me Kolya. Swear to me.”

Vovochka. He screamed in agony when he heard her say that name. For most people it simply was a diminutive name for Vladimir. Except that for many years it had been closely associated with a long-running series of jokes featuring a naughty schoolboy by the same name. He loathed the name because of the jokes.

Monaco. Right after he had asked her to marry him. That had been the first time she ever called him by that name. The trip was supposed to have been fun for them both. While she would be working, the event was for the Formula One racing that had started being held in Sochi. This was simply networking and Vladimir agreed to go to the two day event.

In a sea of beautiful women, he realized very early that Aiah stood out. In a room of flash, she was the quiet elegance that was completely unexpected. He was immediately proud and jealous at the same time.

Men approached her often, not knowing who she was besides an interpreter. Aiah quietly and politely told them no, she was already spoken for. That was all that had to be done.

Their hotel room had a private pool. Because of the security he required, Vladimir was unable to make use of the pool. Aiah on the other hand was able to. She purposely wore nothing but a tiny pair of bikini bottoms in the warm summer sun while he worked and watched. Vladimir loved to watch her. Those tiny bottoms rode low on her hips in the front and exposed most of her backside from behind.

When she had come back in, her warm skin a lovely shade of golden brown, he noticed that there had been a small heart cut out of the material in the back. There was a heart no bigger than his thumbnail tanned on her arse. His brazen Kitten had once more surprised him.

She had been standing in front of the mirror, fixing her lipstick, after having left a ring of red lipstick around the base of his cock. Vladimir was brazenly watching his fiancée when her phone rang.

It was Vasili. Flowers and a card had been sent to her.

According to the card, Aiah had caught the eye of a man while she was sunbathing. Security did not tell either Aiah or Vladimir that she could be seen. That alone infuriated him. The man had asked her to have a drink with him that evening after the festivities.

Aiah had received not only 6 dozen roses but a single Shenzhen Nongke orchid as well. The orchid cost around $200,000 dollars alone. She had asked that the man be thanked but everything should be sent back. She was not interested.

The jealousy had just enough time to boil over when they were almost ready to leave the hotel suite. The evening’s formal festivities were reserved for only the extremely elite. Never mind that beneath that beautiful gown she had been painted in his cum. It was in her hair, on her face and even more on her tits. Aiah had smiled when he had rubbed it in. She was marked as his.

God in heaven, his Kitten was stunning in a gown of pale gold. It showed her figure off to perfection in every way imaginable. Aiah had made sure he knew she wore not a stitch beneath it either. And in a fit of jealousy, he snapped cruelly at her.

“If I am not with you every second I have to worry about men sniffing at your skirts like a mangy dog and you wish to go out in something like this?!”

Her makeup was bronze and gold. Truly there was something about Aiah that made her look touchable. He could even tear the straps of the dress with a simple tug and expose her. The thought crossed his mind to do so even.

Vladimir stared directly at her. God in heaven she was gorgeous, sexy. She was a vision of golden tulle and silk. While the bodice covered her breasts, it was cut low – down past her sternum.  Her lightly tanned skin made her look ripe for the taking.

 “True love doesn’t mean being inseparable; it means being separated and nothing changes, Vovochka.”

“Vovochka?” He scowled, irritated at the use of the name.

“Yes. Vovochka.” She pushed his hands away and neatly tied the bowtie for him. “Even when you act like a jealous schoolboy – naughty and rude. I love you. No matter, I will always love you. Men always look at a woman. They always wish to covet what belongs to another, my Vovochka. However, I have sworn my fidelity to you and not them. I am a woman of my word, am I not? Someone touches me inappropriately? I will hang on the wall as a trophy whatever they touch me with.”

She had only called him that one other time. It right after they had consummated their wedding vows for the first time. “My Vovochka, any person in the world can declare their undying love for you but it is only those that truly mean it that will wait for you. Remember, no matter what happens. I will always wait for you even if it is on the other side.”

Kolya swore to her. Aiah knew then that her husband was safe. That was all that mattered and she stopped fighting the need to stay alert. The smile she gave was heartbreakingly sad. It was the smile of a woman utterly betrayed. Finally, the nothingness took over for Aiah.

It must have been a relief. If she was unconscious, she was no longer suffering. Vladimir remembered it all in vivid detail. He fought with the medics that had him on the stretcher then. He needed to make amends. There was no greater need at that point than to tell her he loved her.

“Life isn’t about who deserves what or when. If it was, the world would be a much different place.”

“Aiah, it took me many years to understand what and who I am. I still don’t know fully but I don’t think anyone has that sort of clarity while still on earth. I should have given you the moon. I should have given you everything that the sky touches. I should have given you everything that I could but I didn’t. I will regret not giving you what I should have for forever.”

“Volodya, you are and have always been the love of my life. I have forgiven you. Please, do not have regrets. We learned and we have grown from the lessons.”

“I do know this. I almost wish you did bear a grudge or even hate me some. I know you won’t.” He smiled softly. “Anger and hate I understand. Your ability to forgive is foreign to me.”

“That takes too much energy to hold on to a grudge or to live with hate like that. I would rather love.”

“I know. I can’t help but think back on the first time our eyes met. I have told you before that I never had a woman look at me the way you did. You saw me staring and still you didn’t break stride. You finished what you were doing as professionally as could be.

I remember being in awe. You were so young to be that unflappable and I thought you were older than your actual age. It would be a while before I understood why you were not startled. You had met more heads of state than I had.” He chuckled. “Your hair fanned out slightly with a turn of your head.  The look in your eyes was just one of delight. You had the warmest of smiles on your lips and even then I thought of kissing you.”

“Remember Volodya, I had found you attractive 7 years or so prior. So to see you in person? Let’s just say that the camera doesn’t do you justice.”

His hand stroked the back of her neck, gently. “I wondered what your skin would feel like. I wanted to know the scent you wore. In those seconds I forgot that others were even there. I was just an ordinary man looking at an exquisite woman. Somewhere inside of me I was the awkward university student again. I wanted to ask you to go to the cinema with me. Did you know that I wondered idly for a moment what was playing that I could take you to?”

Aiah laughed. While she couldn’t see it, it made him smile. He had missed her laugh so desperately for so long.

“One of the men said something to you and I was back to reality once again. Those Americans were large men. Tall but overfed looking. You looked like a delicate fawn next to them. It immediately made me hyperaware and it wasn’t in a good way.”

“I would have accepted the invitation.” Aiah’s voice was sweet sounding, almost bashful.

Once again, he had forgotten that she would always have a certain innocence to her. Vladimir was envious of that innocence. Aiah had seen some of the worst that humanity had to offer and it didn’t turn her bitter. It didn’t make her hateful. Instead, it made her strive to do more for people.

“Volodya, you don’t have to tell me all this.”

“Have to? No. Want to? Yes. I want you to hear all of this.”

He pulled her back towards him a bit more and held her in his arms as gently as he was able.

“When I saw what they had done. Especially the one that tried to get under your skirt, I was so angry. At the same time I could understand it. I wanted you myself. To this day I have no idea what it was that I was drawn to so quickly. It was more than your beauty. It was far more than anything I can even name. Aiah I felt you. I felt your heart beat and your soul sing. That is the only way I can describe it.

I wanted to kiss you Aiah. I wanted to kiss you and find out each and every secret that you had hidden. You knew the meaning of life. I could see it in your eyes but it was in a language that I didn’t know or speak. When you kissed me? I was even more confused than ever. I was 55 years old.”

He sighed again.

“I didn’t know a kiss could move the heavens and the earth like that. I wanted to devour that secret you held but I couldn’t see it. I just knew I wanted it, whatever it was. You became my drug Kitten. I wanted more of you. I needed it like nothing else. I couldn’t get enough of you to slake my thirst.

Aiah, you left me weak. Or so I thought. I tried to break the habit that one afternoon started. But I couldn’t. I don’t think I really wanted to either. There was nothing in the world that felt like you did. I thought it was sex at first, but it wasn’t.”

“What was it?”

“I don’t know. I never had it before. There is no other person besides you that I have had it with.” His hand was gentle as he brushed her long hair to the side again. Soft lips lingered and pressed to the nape of her neck. “Alina was supposed to replace you. That sounds so very cruel and please understand, it is not meant to be cruel. You were taking over my life Kitten. All I could think about was you. I could be being briefed on the security of the entire nation and my mind would wander. I would wonder what you were doing right then. Or I would wonder what you were thinking. The harder I fought to get away, the worse it was.

I learned the hard way that there was no replacing you. I was so angry when you began to date that actor, Aleksandr Sokolov. I didn’t know it then but it wasn’t just anger. It was jealousy. You came here, not only to my country but to the very city I lived in, and I didn’t know. You refused to see me because of a date. I wasn’t capable of understanding then.”

“Understanding what?”

“I was being selfish prick. I knew what I wanted but there was no way in hell I would admit it. After all, I was a married man with two children. My own children were older than you Aiah. I had a mistress that was becoming more and more demanding. Then there was the woman I loved, you. Except, you were running away from me. Or so I believed.”

“I was trying to protect myself.”

There was a note of sadness to her voice. It was more evident when she reached up touch his hand and hesitated. The touch never came and Aiah’s hand dropped back to her lap. Vladimir was walking a very thin line and he knew that. As painful as it may be, it had to come out.

“I know Kitten. I know. I didn’t understand that back then. Your straightforwardness was something I was completely unused to in a person.  You also didn’t use sex as a weapon or as a commodity. You enjoyed sex for sex. Aiah, you didn’t play coy. You weren’t timid or even evasive.”

“You still seem surprised by that.”

“Aiah, you told me yourself you didn’t have but four partners in your entire life.”

“Well men. I have been with a couple of women if you remember the video.”

“I will never forget that video.”

Chuckling softly, she shook her head. “I have done more with you than what is in that video.”

“Why?”

“Vladimir, you are the only man I have ever loved. You are the only man that has ever had his cock inside me without a barrier. I used birth control of course but I never made you wear a condom like the other three.”

“Sokolov wanted to marry you. You said no.”

“I didn’t realize you knew about that. I never told anyone he proposed. Yes, I did say no. He wanted monogamy, marriage and children. I wasn’t willing to give him those things because I wasn’t in love with him. You know that.”

“I do know. I was so jealous when it came to you Aiah. Ever since that first kiss.”

“I don’t understand why.”

Sighing, Vladimir looked up to the sky. To tell her the truth was to open up part of him that never had never seen the light of day. They were words never uttered aloud before. To not tell her would be akin to lying, something he had ruined their marriage before with.

“Aiah.”

Her name felt thick and heavy on his tongue. Was there a reason to go back into the past? She hadn’t even been born then. Sighing, he looked up once more.

“I don’t talk much about the past for many reasons. I had a very different life back then. I am – grateful that I don’t have that same life. Women weren’t very important to me, they never were.” When he felt Aiah tense, he kissed her shoulder softly. “I meant relationships. I am not homosexual Aiah.”

She snorted softly.

He chuckled. “I do suppose you of all people do know that. What I am about to tell you, only one other person knows.”

“Okay.”

“Do you wish for me to continue?”

“Yes.”

“Tell me something first? When did you know that you loved me?”

“Can you imagine what a difference we would have made in one another if we had been honest from the beginning?”

Laughing, he shook his head. “Talk about complicating matters.”

Turning around, she faced him. “I know. Love.” She looked down. “Love complicated matters quite a bit. My Volodya, I honestly never meant to fall in love with you. In the beginning, it never crossed my mind that I would love you. We could have a bit of fun together and we would move on.”

Looking down, Aiah picked up her husband’s hand. She traced her fingertips over his in a slow methodical pattern while collecting her thoughts. 

“I never expected to see you again, except perhaps in a professional setting, after I left Moscow. You had my card and you knew how to get in touch with me easily. I really just didn’t expect that you would. Plus? I wasn’t looking at staying in interpreting for too much longer. The vast majority of my cliental were men. What you saw from the Americans and then at Wimbledon happened all of the time.”

“Why didn’t you tell me?”

“It never occurred to me to tell you. I took care of it through the contracts. After a few billionaires paid upwards of 5 billion pounds each, word got around that I didn’t tolerate untoward behavior. Grisha was one of the rare exceptions. He didn’t flirt. He didn’t try to put me in awkward settings. After I met Nastasia I knew why.” She chuckled.

Aiah smiled tenderly.“I don’t think I would have flirted if I was married to Nastasia either. She is a fantastic woman and her and Mum are great friends now. After the day at Wimbledon, I think there may have been a part of me that knew all along that I would love you. However the first time that it hit me so hard that it left me breathless?  Rostov-on-Don. We were at the villa for those private meetings you had set up and a little bit of private time between us.”

“That was an interesting couple of days.” He mused. “I felt badly about your role in that.”

“Why? I loved it. People get so uptight about sex and the human body that they forget our bodies are made for pleasure. You forget that yourself Vladimir.”

“This is where we are very different Kitten.”

“You have gotten better about it.” Aiah laughed warmly.

“I had to. My wife likes to be naked as often as possible.”

“That’s because your wife is a whore that wants to fuck you as often as possible.” She looked up at the sky for a moment before responding again. “It was after Wimbledon. You make me notice how very female or feminine I am.”

“I don’t understand.”

“I’m not sure how to explain it. My body moves differently when you are in the room with me. It doesn’t matter if it is for business or pleasure. My heartbeat quickens just enough that I am warmer to the touch and my skin becomes flushed. My nipples stay hard and sensitive when you are in the room. I feel a constant throb between my legs. It feels like I am just a quarter step away from being completely aroused.”

“What else?”

“I still do it to this day. I tend to look away from men that make it obvious they find me attractive. I avert my eyes and focus on you. I can feel it happen when it does. I don’t want them to see me. I’m not theirs to look at.”

“Whose are you?”

Licking her lips, Aiah’s brow creased. Teeth snagged her lower lip and bit down. “I’m yours Vova. I am utterly and completely yours. Maybe it is something primal? I don’t know if it is pheromones or something else.”

“What does it feel like to you Aiah? Tell me.”

“Like I’m constantly thinking about your cock.”

His eyebrow arched and Vladimir smiled knowingly.

“Okay, okay. Yes, I am constantly thinking about your cock. Uhm. I am very conscious of the parts of my body that make me look feminine. Like, my breasts. I am acutely aware of them around you. The way they bounce when I walk in heels or how they fill my blouse if I bend over some. It’s not how they look but how they feel.”

“I too am acutely aware of your breasts Kitten.”

“Most powerful man in the world and you are a goof.” Aiah’s laugh was the sound of happiness. “No wonder I fell in love with you. I walk differently. There is more swing to my hips. Uhm.” She frowned. “When I first feel it happen, it’s like my hips have relaxed. I don’t stand as rigid. I can control it. I just pay closer attention to my body. But it is very sexual. Its why, I think, I am always ready for you. My body reacts to you and it always has.”

Reaching, he caressed her cheek. Aiah’s eyes closed briefly and she leaned in to his touch. Parted lips permitted to a whimper to escape. It made Vladimir smile. He could see it now. The way her body moved for him. It was smoother, more natural looking now that he paid attention. His own breath hitched. Not that he was all that different, he craved her touch as she did his.

“You were beautiful playing the part of Sasha.” The whisper drifted over her cheek as he kissed the sensitive skin right below the ear.  “There is part of me that would keep you like that with me always but the larger part would never share you with another in that way again.”

Swallowing, she felt that little kiss all the way to her toes. Closing her eyes, Aiah’s voice had dropped lower. “Sasha. Almost forgot that was what you were calling me. I wore nothing but heels and tiny pairs of panties all day. Many different pairs since you liked destroying them often.”

“I couldn’t help myself.” He admitted. “I didn’t think seeing you like that would have had such a great effect on me.” Gently, he eased her back on to the blanket. Laying on his side with her on her back, Vladimir smiled at his wife. “As much as I like to play with you in so many different ways, I was not and am not fond of sharing you with another soul.”

“That is because you are greedy Vladimir Vladimirovich.”

“Guilty as charged.” He kissed the hollow of her throat lightly just to hear her gasp.

And gasp she did. Aiah shivered with pleasure. “You wanted the men to stare, so I gave them something to stare at. It was humiliating and utterly decadent at the same time. I am grateful for the hood and the contact lenses so nobody could tell who I was.”

“Kitten, I would never do anything to damage your reputation.”

“Damn.” Aiah raised her brows. “There goes my fantasy of sucking your cock while you address the Duma.”

“I haven’t left office yet.” He kissed her again. “No one knew what to make of you.”

“I wasn’t sure what to make of me. Crawling in on my hands and knees like that? That collar looked like something a huge dog should have, not a little…. Kitten. A very kinky fantasy come to life.”

“It was.”

“But not your kinky fantasy.”

“No. I love that you are so willing my Aiah. I don’t mean for that meeting but everything. It…..makes me…..I…” This time he was the one that frowned. “I enjoy your willingness to experiment. Although, I never thought you would go along with all of that.”

Aiah had been treated like a pet. On a thick cushion she knelt at the side of his chair. Vladimir had kept his hand on her at all times. His fingers stroked the back of her neck or toyed with her nipples while she held his drink, acted as a footrest, or whatever was asked of her. Vasili had even come in to take Sasha for a short ‘walk’.

It was all Aiah could do not to laugh when Vladimir snarled at Vasili, then called Ivan, and told him to make sure she pissed outside like a good girl. He didn’t want to make her lick up another accident.  When she was brought back in to the room fifteen minutes later, her arse was a rather glowing shade of red. It looked as if she had been spanked hard. It was, in fact, a light dusting of makeup and swats from her own hand.

Aiah was quite catlike as she reclined at Vladimir’s feet. Aloof, she boldly stared at the other man in the room with a feline like look of disapproval. Aiah was extremely astute at reading body language, which was what she really was there for. It baffled and bewildered the three men that met with the then Prime Minister Putin that day.

The three men were well known players in the kinky brothels of Moscow. Sasha could have been one of eight different women that they had paid exorbitant fees to for a couple of hours of enjoyment. The men were known to speak a little too openly and honestly during their pillow talks. Something had been said that shouldn’t have. Aiah was there to help find out what.

Raising up on her elbows, fingers slipped between the buttons of his shirt. Tugging her husband closer she raised further, as if she was going to kiss him. “What else do you love?”

Vladimir recognized immediately the mood she was in. It was difficult not to. He smiled. “You. I love you. And you my naughty Kitten have not been released from the doctors yet. You were scolded after our last little bit of fun. I won’t let that happen again.”

Chuckling after she grumbled at him. “I am just as eager for you Aiah but for now we wait. You do make a very good pet. When I put you on my lap? I thought Baranov was going to have a heart attack. Your soft little mouth against my neck and your legs spread wide. It looked like you were whispering something in my ear while I was finger fucking you. That was the truest test of my resolve. You sound so pretty when you cum Kitten, did you know that?”

“Now I do. You made me kneel on all fours in front of you after that. You had put that cold little jeweled plug in my arse. When you told me to pull those panties down so he could see how wet I was and that plug? I thought I was going to cum again right there on the spot. My head was on your lap and you were letting me lick your fingers clean. Baranov wanted to spend some time with me but you refused.”

“You are mine Aiah. No other man would ever have touched you if I had my say back then.” Blue eyes turned hard at the thought of another man touching her. “And now, I do have that say.”

“Vladimir, I didn’t want any other man to touch me. I am not sure if I realized it then or not. I needed no one but you. You knew me better than I knew myself.”

“I still don’t understand why you let me do those things to you.”

“I enjoyed it. It was powerful. You laid your claim on me then and there. There is a very dark part of me that enjoys the objectification by you. There is no way in hell that I would have ever allowed someone else to play with me like that. You always have been my exception in everything Volodya.

Even that long ago, I knew I had earned your respect. We weren’t just occasional lovers. You were one of my closest friends and confidants. You were always respectful of me when we worked together and made sure others treated me with respect. I could be the pretty girl. You knew what I was capable of. It wasn’t being one or the other with you, I was permitted to be whole. I enjoy being the object of your desire. And I love being used simply for your sexual gratification. It’s sexy and exciting.

When I was with you, I felt safe. Nobody would find out about my peccadillos. Nobody would take advantage of me. Those men knew if they laid a hand on me without permission they would be destroyed.”

“That was when you realized you cared more than you thought you did? Because I abused, used and debased you?”

“No. You could have used another woman. You went through a lot of trouble making sure I was taken care of and would remain anonymous no matter what. You put yourself at risk rather than risk me.”

“That is because I was selfish. If I would have had to step down as the Prime Minister? It meant I would have been able to keep you with me. I wouldn’t have cared as long as you were mine.”

“You would have cared. You enjoy being in charge my Volodya. I know you very well after all these years. Transforming back into myself however was interesting. If that dress I wore had been any shorter, it would have been called a shirt. It was rather impressive how you thought of everything, I must say. I even arrived like I hadn’t been there yet.”

 Vasili was the one that arranged that, you know. You looked so beautiful in that dress.”

“That doesn’t surprise me. Vasili is extremely intelligent. You were out on the veranda with your back towards the door when I came out. The setting sun caught you at just the right moment. Then you turned, smiling. The way you stared at me? I could feel the quiver in my knees. I didn’t want anyone else to look at me like you did, ever. That was the exact moment that I knew for certain.”

“I remember that. I remember that moment. You looked so young and innocent. You are young. Innocent?” He laughed softly and shook his head. “That night was something special. The moment we were behind closed doors I ruined that pretty dress just so I could touch you.

I couldn’t understand why a woman so perfect would want me. I realized then it was actually me. It wasn’t because of anything I could give you or anything you wanted with a price. You wanted the man and not the character.” He mused.  “Your skin was so soft and so pale. Your nipples were such hard little peaks that were the color of Japanese cherry blossoms. Nothing felt as good as you did…..do.

And you were mine. Well, I wanted to believe that you were but I was afraid.”

“What were you afraid of?”

“You. Aiah, I came from nothing. You know that. I felt like an imposter. I was so in love with you already that I was afraid of what I was willing to do to keep you. I never once thought you could feel the same way. I was 55? 56? You were 21. I would have given you everything. Anything.”

“I would have never asked you.”

“I know. That is why I was so willing to give you the world. Your refusal of gifts was frustrating at first. Now I understand.”

She looked into his eyes. “I never wanted the world. All I have ever wanted was you. That is still all I want. You and Vadya. Our family. You and our son? That is where my heart lies and nowhere else.”

“That is why I need to tell you about this Aiah, you need to know more.”

“Then tell me.”

“I need you to promise me something first. Don’t run. Not until I have told you everything, can you promise me that Kitten?”

Turning to her side, she looked at him. “Will knowing this put Vadya in danger or is Vadya in danger now?”

“No. This affects only us in the long term. Vadya is in no danger that I am aware of because of this or anything else.”

“I promise.”

“I meant what I said earlier.  Women weren’t very important to me, they never were. The story of me being hurt deeply when I was a young man is true, except the part of where I was so deeply hurt. It was more of an inconvenience Aiah. I wasn’t in love or anything of the like.”

“Why lie?”

“To make the rest of the story seem real.”

She was confused.

“When I was in the KGB I needed a wife and it had to be real. That’s where Lyudmila came in. It was arranged. We met and we dated. We decided we were fine together. Thus, we married.”

She stared at him for 30 seconds. Her brow creasing was the only movement. “You are telling me that you and Lyudmila weren’t really…..” Aiah sat up abruptly.

Sitting up with her, he laid a hand on her bare leg. “Legally, yes we were married.”

“I’m not going to bolt, you don’t have to do that.” Her voice was soft. “The girls?”

“The girls are our biological children.”

“More convincing?”

He nodded once.

“Lyudmila was in the KGB too?”

“No. It’s difficult to explain. It was a very different time from anything you know. It was considered an honor to help your country in service without having to join the military. Does that make sense?”

Blowing out a breath, she sat there. “Yes. May I have a glass of wine please?”

When Vladimir handed her the glass she downed it in a single swallow. “Make that another.” When he handed her the glass back, that one she sipped. “The girls don’t know?”

“No. They don’t. What are you thinking Kitten?”

“Why did you just tell me this?”

“It wasn’t fair to you.”

“Am I just a construct?”

“No. You were never supposed to have happened. You are the most real part of my life since I joined the KGB. You and Vadya. You were never planned for. You and I? That was all us Aiah. All of it. The only true lie in all of this is there was never supposed to be love between Lyudmila and me. I believe she may have grown to care more than she should have. Maybe she even grew to love me, I don’t know. I know my ways hurt her.”

Hand shaking, she took another drink of wine. “How deep does this go? Is it still going on?”

“Yeltsin appointing me Prime Minster in 1999 was the last act that had been contrived. The rest has happened more or less naturally.” Leaning in, Vladimir kissed his wife’s lips lightly. He could taste the wine and he could taste her. Mostly he could taste Aiah.

“You could have kept this from me and I would have never known.”

“I know.”

“Do you love me?” There was worry in her eyes.

“More than I know the words for Aiah. You changed everything. You changed me. I didn’t want to. God above, I didn’t want to love someone. I especially didn’t want to love someone like I love you. I meant what I said. I would do anything possible to protect you. I would forsake God and Country for you. There was worry in the beginning that you were some sort of agent. The circumstances of your family was just too perfect. Once I knew you? I didn’t care. All I cared about was you. I wanted you to love me the same way I did you.”

“I do. My Vovochka.”

“Aiah, did you just make reference to me being a naughty schoolboy?”

“Most definitely.”

Shaking his head, he chuckled. “I’ll show you naughty.”

“Promise?”

He laughed and kissed his wife. “I promise.”

“When did you know?”

“Do you remember our first trip to the Middle East?”

“Yes, of course. That was a whirlwind of a trip.” They visited five countries in three days.

“That’s when I knew for certain.”

“How?” It was early in their relationship.

“You told me you were acquainted with the royal family and you tried to explain. I had other things going on and I didn’t listen to you. Everything is going as planned, introductions are being made and then chaos. All you did was raise your eyes and smile.

They all immediately realize who is standing next to me. I realize you were far more acquainted with them than I thought. The family is part of your family. “

“One of these days I am going to write a book.” Aiah grinned

“It’ll be pornography.” Vladimir laughed. “Kitten, for something like that to have happened with anyone else? I would have been furious. I am not used to being ignored. It was the first time I was able to witness you with people that you loved and loved you in equal measure. That’s how I knew. I was thrilled to witness your happiness.”

“That was a long time ago.” She mused.

“On the entire trip you do realize that there were those princes clamoring to get to know you better?”

“You of all people should know that I am not one for a quick little tête-à-tête.”

“Aiah, they wanted to get to know you better so they could marry you.”

“I am not exactly sure which princes they were and truthfully I don’t wish to know. They didn’t matter to me at all outside of my services to you.”

“I know that now. Then? We were still getting to know one another.”

She chuckled and shook her head.

“Do you understand why I was jealous?”

“Yes and no. It saddens me that you would think anyone could lure me away so easily. I wasn’t the little girl that wanted to be pretty or a princess or anything like that. I wanted to be a warrior or a knight. That’s why I started fencing.”

“You jest.”

“Not at all. I didn’t want the prince to slay the dragon to rescue me. I wanted to befriend the dragon and slay the prince. Mind you, while we were dueling the so called prince was Logan.”

He started to laugh. “This does explain quite a bit. Aleksandr said something to me about you years ago.”

“My trainer?”

“Yes. He knew fairly early on about you. And Alina. He told me that I needed to make a decision. I needed to figure out if I wanted a princess or if I wanted the warrior.”

“What?” Aiah was confused.

“I asked the same question.” He smiled softly. “My Aiah, when you came into my life it was at a critical point. Everyone wanted a piece of me and I had no idea what the fuck I wanted, let alone what I wanted to do. You were exciting. You were thrilling. Still, there was a distance between us. It made it easy to see Alina. I could have my cake and eat it too.”

Aiah looked completely baffled.

“Alina was easier than you. I could do what I always did. I had a wife and I had a mistress. Alina liked pretty things. She wanted to be pampered and petted. Even the sport she chose was pretty. She was treated like royalty here. She was the epitome of a princess.

That sort of thing? It bored you to tears. You needed meaning. To debate with you over a shared book was more important to you than a piece of jewelry. I didn’t understand that at first Kitten.”

“Do you now?”

“Yes. What you enjoyed took thought. To debate with you over Tolstoy meant that I had to sit down and read something knowing you would challenge me on it. The sports you played? You chose that of warriors, knights, and fighters. Judo, fencing, Krav Maga are all fighting sports. You began to learn sambo so we could spar. That is when I began to understand. Your love for me wasn’t wrapped up in pretty bows and ribbons but it was the time you made for me and us.”

“I have a confession to make.”

Vladimir’s eyebrow raised.

“So the times we debated over literature? I simply took an opposing side to see if I could. I actually agreed with you at least 95% of the time.”

He started to laugh. “Is this why you wanted to prep me instead of letting Lavrov of Peskov do it all?”

“Maybe. Or maybe I just wanted to spend more time with the man I fell in love with.” She smiled mischievously. “Mum was very adamant about me being able to fend for myself and not needing rescuing from anyone.”

“The only person you ever needed rescuing from was me.”

“No, I never needed rescuing from you. You didn’t try to hurt me. You tried to hurt yourself. I got caught in the crossfire. You have repeatedly said you don’t know what I saw in you. I still don’t understand what you see in me. I always seemed the complete opposite of what you enjoyed when it came to women. You always seemed to like women that were soft and pretty.”

“I cannot deny that but you are soft like the finest of silks is soft. You are a beautiful woman my Aiah.”

Oddly, she knew what he meant. Silk was the strongest natural occurring substance to be used as cloth. She wasn’t one for nail varnish or hair color. She didn’t have cosmetic procedures done nor did Aiah wear a lot of makeup. She did always look well put together. Having learned kindness comes before anything else kept people at arm’s length for some reason.

“Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin. My Volodya. I love you. I have loved you since the beginning. So stop pushing me away. I’m more stubborn than you know and more stubborn than you will ever be.”

“How did I get so lucky?”

“Good people marry you said. And they did, eventually.” There was the barest hint of a smile on her lips.

“I’m not a good man. I don’t think I ever have been.”

“That’s not true. If you try to argue with me on this? You will lose.”

He chuckled lightly. “I do have security you know.”

“I do too.”

“I should have given you the world but instead I gave you pain.”

“We hurt each other. My wounds have healed.”

“It wasn’t a wound. It was fear and jealousy. You held more power over me than any other person ever did. What I felt for you was so strong I used other women to act as a buffer. I tried to keep myself one step removed from you and us. I’m ashamed of that Aiah. I am deeply ashamed.”

“Why?”

“When Lyudmila and I married it was for convenience. I didn’t know what I needed and I certainly couldn’t put it into words. Lyudmila tried. She tried to be a good wife but how was she supposed to know if I didn’t? There was always something lacking between us.

I didn’t know what I needed with you at first either. You were and still are the most sensual woman I have ever seen. I have watched you walk into a meeting and all eyes shift to you. It wasn’t about sex. Men that I knew for certain that would have rather had your cousin than you, watched you. It was so intimate appearing. Women that weren’t attracted to other women. They wanted to watch what you could do.”

“That’s silly.” She scoffed.

“No. It isn’t. I have seen it a hundred times with you. I can show you pictures. Yet, it wasn’t until we lived together that I had any idea. I needed a woman to be fully my partner rather than only my wife. I needed someone that not only understood me but understands what has to happen to keep Russia as Russia.

Up until the latter half of the 20st century, wives were little more than servants in the average home. Women would work outside of the home and still take care of all of the chores. Amongst the wealthy? Women had nothing to do but look pretty and be silent. What sort of life is that? Right here and right now you could go head to head with me on nearly anything to do with politics that wasn’t national security couldn’t you?”

“More than likely, yes. Probably even what was national security to a degree as well.”

“You know more than you ever let on don’t you?”

“Yes.”

“Why?”

“Why did I never let on or why do I know so much? They are two different questions. I know so much just because I grew up surrounded by both the British and American military. Mum and Dad had something to do with the intelligence services. Not CIA or MI-6, but military intelligence. That’s why I know so much, I merely paid attention. There is also the fact that my family is eyeball deep in politics.

Why did I never let on? It isn’t much different than the reason I wouldn’t accept a gift. Appearance means a lot, not to me so much as to everything that has surrounded us. Plausible deniability before people knew about us. I never betrayed you Vladimir. I never would.”

“I know. I was able to trust you completely. I was able to share with you things you probably shouldn’t have known but I knew I could trust you. You were my love and you were my partner. I never had that before. I’m not sure I even knew that a woman could enjoy sex as much as a man, let alone want it as often.”

“Come here, please?” She laid down on her side.

Wordlessly, Vladimir mirrored his wife. Looking into his eyes, Aiah pressed a kiss to his lips.

“Vova, you are the only man for me. There is nobody else that makes me feel like you do. And if there was? I still wouldn’t want them. I would never wish for a knockoff when I have the one I want already. I don’t want ‘One Like Putin’. I have The Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin. With you, I’m happy.”  Aiah kissed her husband.

One hand delved into her curls and his arm wrapped around her slender waist, pulling her tight to him. The kiss was returned with his own passion and drive. He could her the sweet whimper-cries when she held on to him just as fiercely. Buttons flew as the fabric was torn, exposing his chest. Aiah kissed a trail across his chest, savoring the way he felt on her lips. 

Green cat eyes peered at him. A slow smile curved Aiah’s lips upwards. With his gaze trapped by her own, she bit him. Vladimir hissed with pain but it didn’t lessen his enjoyment of her. Slowly, sharp nails were dragged downwards. The reddened welts only lasted for mere moments. They tumbled together on the grass. Her lips pressed a searing kiss to his mouth.

The kiss was brutal at first. Her teeth nipped at his lip and when he gasped softly her tongue sought purchase in his mouth. It happened in tiny increments that Aiah permitted the kiss to soften and become something tender. A single fingertip stroked over his eyebrows and down his cheeks. She looked into his eyes and smiled.

“I have known this all along. You self-sabotage and have done that all your life. Except you cannot sabotage us. I won’t allow it. Even when I returned to London, I was still yours Vladimir. I’m yours. I have been yours since the first time I kissed you. I am certain you knew that from the moment our lips met but you didn’t want to believe it. It is why I never pushed you. I knew you would come to realize it eventually.” Aiah nipped his chest before he rolled her to her back.

There was part of Vladimir that wanted to laugh. Of course she knew it. No one knew him better than his Kitten did. On her back she pressed upwards, grinding against him. Aiah felt every inch of his hardness through his trousers. Wrapping her arm around the back of his neck, they danced together in the grass.

Ripping his zipper down, he shoved whatever scrap of tiny nothingness she wore beneath the dress to the side. He sank into his wife with a deep sigh of pleasure. A cry was torn from her lips. The sudden invasion of her body by his was painful. And she enjoyed every bit of it.

Aiah’s legs were around his waist and she used his body to help her meet her husband’s thrusts. Just as she ripped his shirt open before, Vladimir ripped open her dress. Her skin was so smooth and soft. His lips fastened around a pink nipple in a moment of gentleness as their bodies collided. With each stroke he drove into his wife as hard as he could.

This time they allowed for both of their more feral natures come out to play

Calling out to him in the night, her body tightened as the first crashing wave of pleasure hit. Head back and eyes closed she couldn’t contain the cries even if she tried. They both feasted heartily on each other’s form.

Vladimir wasn’t ready yet. He wanted more from her. With lips against the shell of her ear, he whispered how he loved to make his little tart come on his cock. The words were like a stroke of heat touching Aiah’s very core.

Grabbing his short hair, Aiah pulled him away only to kiss him again. In the dark of night they were bathed by the moon, once again they consummated their marriage.

She turned him to his back, riding her husband’s cock with the freedom of a woman that cared little who saw. Pulling the dress up and over her head, the panties she wore were ripped away by him. The night shadows hid the scars that Vladimir feared seeing still.

Instead he marveled at the love shared between them.

Feral. Brutal. Pure. That was their love. That was how they came together. There wasn’t anything to hold them back from each other but fear. Vladimir felt that damnable beast sink its teeth into him and immediately Aiah dashed it away. The beast called Fear had held on to him for so long was crushed by his beloved smile.

“Vladimir, I love you. My head and heart give me no other choice than to love you. My soul is bound to you and only you. I am yours alone.”

Unable to help himself, he grabbed her long curly hair and pulled her downwards. “My sweet Russian tart. We belong together. Always. And in all ways.” Vladimir whispered before kissing her full mouth.

He groaned against her lips when the hardened peaks of her nipples dragged against his chest. It had been so long. Far, far too long since he felt his wife’s darker side. Pulling free, Vladimir put her on her belly. His cock was drenched with her desire. Just the head nudged at the tight little star.

“Don’t you dare tease me Vova!” Aiah’s voice was a low growl.

Once more he sank into her. Somewhere in the barely conscious part of his brain he registered the pain. It had been too long since he had taken her so brutally. Grabbing a handful of her hair once more Aiah’s head was pulled back. Exposing her throat so that he could wrap his hand around the slender column, Vladimir felt her pulse throbbing beneath his fingertips.

“My sweet little vixen.” The words were a soft caress. “Oh how I love you.”

Her pulse quickened and Vladimir couldn’t help but smile. Full lips looked bruised already and he could hear each of the different sounds she made. He bit right behind her ear and whispered.

“You are the most perfect whore my Aiah. It is a good thing you are mine. No man could love you like I do. There could be no man that would appreciate you more. You are mine Kitten. Always and only mine.”

Long nails bit into the grass and dirt while he continued to thrust. Just to torment her, he slowed down. He continued with long slow strokes. His hand cupped around her breast and teased at her nipple. His Aiah sounded achingly sweet when she cried out for more. Smiling, he could feel it. She was ready again. She wanted to feel that throb echo through her entire body and leave her quaking. But not yet.

“Do you know why you will only ever belong to me?”

“Yes.”

“Why?”

“Because you are mine and only mine. There cannot be anyone else. It’s the same with you.”

“I love you Aiah, my little green eyed thief. You stole my heart and then my soul.”

Without warning he thrust in harder and harder. It took no time at all until they found their pleasure as one. He laid over her body, kissing her throat and neck. The soft kisses were already making her grind her arse up against him. Laying in the grass, Aiah had no idea where the horse blanket was and she certainly didn’t care.

“Oh how I needed that Volodya.” Drawing his hand into her own, she kissed the palm with the happiest of sighs.

“I wanted to have a romantic evening with you Kitten. This was not how things were planned. How is it you always trick me into fucking you when I say I won’t?”

“Because you know I want you as much as you want me. Vladimir Vladimirovich. You think this was not romantic?”

“I fucked you.”

“Yes, you did. Oh yes you did.” The words were more of a purr of pleasure. “I wanted you to fuck me. You and I rutted like beasts under the stars and the sky. My beloved Volodya you and I see things differently. You didn’t just fuck me. I wanted you. No other man has touched me except you since I was 24 years old. I needed to feel you. I needed to know you still wanted me.

 The man I love told me he wanted me to give me the moon. He wanted to give me everything the sky touches. And he did. We are what the sky touches. The man I love, loves me. He gave me his name. He gave me his son. This man gave me everything I desired and even then I was given one more gift. I was given the gift of being loved. What could possibly be more romantic?”

“You thought I didn’t want you?”

“No. I didn’t think that. However, I still needed your touch to tell me you did.”

“Shall we go back up?”

“If that is what you would like, of course.”

They put themselves back together the best way that they could.

He laughed suddenly.

“What?”

“You look like you have been mauled by a bear.”

“I was.” Aiah smirked.

“I have a few things to show you.”

“The remodeling?”

“Yes.”

They walked back up to the estate that they called home. Vladimir stopped her just inside the door.

“Aiah.” He paused while trying to find the words he needed to say. “The only reason I know peace, love and happiness is because your heart acted as a beacon that my soul had no choice but to follow. Even now, it is difficult to admit how much power you have over me. You and Vadya. The same power just……different. I was such a fool. I am ashamed to even admit that I thought I was weak to love someone as much as I love you. I thought I had to keep something back for myself. I was so wrong my Aiah. And I wronged you. I need you to know, it never happened here.”

“What never happened here?”

“Elizaveta. We never….never here. I couldn’t. I wouldn’t.”

Taking a deep breath Vladimir sighed.

“I never let anything happen here. This is our home. I couldn’t do that to you. I have had everything remodeled. I wanted you to come home to a new place. One that was just for us and Vadya.  I haven’t even slept in our bedroom yet. I wanted you with me.”

“Vova…..”

“There is no way that I can undo what I did. Just know that I am trying. I want you to believe in me again Aiah. I need that more than I need to breathe. When you left…….I sent her elsewhere, away from me and us. I couldn’t believe what I had done. There has been no one else. I swear to you.”

“Stop. We move on and we build a stronger foundation. If you keep apologizing, we can’t move past this. I have forgiven you. I love you Volodya.”

“Thank you Kitten. I love you my Aiah.”

Vladimir kissed his wife with more than just love but with devotion.

And then he began to laugh.

“What’s so funny?”

“Your knees. You have grass stains on your knees like you have been fucking in the grass.”

Looking down, she laughed with him. “Oh the security team is probably shaking their heads going how are we going to look Vladimir Vladimirovich in the eye tomorrow.”

“Oh no, no, no. Kitten, they didn’t care about what I was doing. You were as naked at the day you were born and were obviously enjoying yourself. They are going to be worried if they stare at you what I’m going to do.”

“There are times we do make it difficult for our security.” Aiah chuckled. 

 “What would you like to do?”

“See what other parts of me you can get dirty?” Aiah’s smile was glorious. “Banya?”

In the steamy heat they relaxed. On a thick towel, she laid on a lower bench with her feet up next to his thigh. He was slightly more modest with a towel wrapped around his waist. 

 It was the first time he saw the scar from when she was shot. It started at the lower back and curved upwards to arch over her hip. The scar finally ended at her lower belly. The surgeons had done a fine job keeping the scarring as minimal as they possibly could. If a gunshot wound could be considered elegant, this was as close as it could come. She was young and strong. Still, it had been touch and go for quite a while. Most people would never have survived the trauma Vladimir realized.

“It doesn’t hurt.” When she caught him staring.

“I didn’t realize they had to do so much.” The sorrow in his voice was evident.

Vladimir had to close his eyes then. He just needed the one heartbeat of escape. While he didn’t pull the trigger, it was his deeds that nearly killed his wife.

Sitting up from her prone position Aiah moved to kneel between his legs. Her head lifted and her lips touched his. Hands moved on instinct to her waist. Immediately, his hand tried to jerk away when he felt the scar. She pressed her hand over his.

“No.” She whispered the word against his lips. “It’s me. It’s no different than the scar by my temple. It’s just part of me.”

The scar on her hairline was a mensur scar. In the 21st century, mensur was greatly frowned upon by most. However, Aiah was a gifted fencer and quite fearless. It was a rite of passage in some circles and was considered a mark of bravery and courage. Mensur was the remaining western fencing that used sharp blades, the rest were regulated to the history books.

Aiah had earned that shortly after finding out i that she would be going to the summer 2004 Olympics in Athens. She had been in Germany at the time and was permitted to be marked. Unlike most scarring from mensur, Aiah’s was on the right instead of the left. Most fencers were right handed thus they would end up targeting the left. However, it was another left handed fencer that marked her.

The scar from the razor sharp sword was a badge of honor. Aiah had stood proud and even though she felt fear, she was fearless. In the sport of fencing, one wears protective clothing. When she stood for the specialized mensur only a neck piece and glasses were worn.

It wasn’t about not being injured but instead about taking the injury stoically as possible. She felt the same about the scar left from the shooting. She felt fear but it didn’t stop her.

Her body was slick with sweat and Vladimir closed his eyes as his fingers traced along the ridge of the still raised scar. He surrendered to her just as she did to him so many years ago. Soft lips were parted just enough that he knew that it was an invitation. He deepened their kiss with his tongue penetrating her the same way his cock did earlier.

She was the sweetest of sins and Vladimir was unrepentant in his love for his wife. 

Would the thrill of wanting his Aiah ever leave him? Vladimir doubted it. It was a rush like no other. His hand cupped the fullness of her breast. Instantly the pink tip hardened against his fingers. There was a part of him that wanted to be gentle with her. He wanted to go slow and make sure that every touch conveyed to her exactly how he felt. It would have to be touch because it transcended anything that words could describe.

The need was too powerful. His lusts were demanding a sacrifice and thankfully Aiah was no virgin.

“I love you. Oh how I love you.” Vladimir groaned again.

“I love you. You make me ache Vova. Ache. Always. There is an ache at my very core that cannot be relieved except by your touch. Even then I always want more. I need more.”

His mouth claimed her’s again. This time it was vicious. This time he needed more. Pulling back, his lips traced a trail downwards to her shoulder. When he felt her body quiver against his own, Vladimir bit down and drew blood. He fed both of their beasts that way.

Touch. Her touch. Slender fingers stroked over him. Aiah was his contradiction. She was wayward but compliant. Brazen yet modest. She was everything that he ever wanted or needed.

Her innocence was a beacon of light to him. Even now, he craved to debase his beautiful wife in ways that he would have never tried with another woman. His Aiah would beg for more.

These were not moments made for chaste or shy lovers. No, these were moments made for lust. For fucking. These were the moments when the world ceased to exist around them and they came together as one.

Aiah’s fingers traced over his own scars with such love that it surprised him. Even in the throes of lust, she was gentle and she savored every part of him. It didn’t matter to her if it was the good or the bad, as long as it was him she was happy.

This time he didn’t crave her body for sex. No, sex was the last thing on his mind. He needed that connection. Vladimir Putin needed his wife to know the surging and crashing of wave inside his heart were because he belonged to her just as she belonged to him.

It was Aiah that broke the kiss first. “We need to get out, we have been here too long.”

Unable to find his voice, Vladimir nodded. He followed her to the shower instead of the cold pool. The shower was fitted to make it feel like rain. She turned the lights down low and kissed him under the cool water.

In the blink of the eye, he was self-conscious. Like the water, she flowed into his arms and slid down his body. While fit, there was some sort of strange acute awareness of their age difference. He was 35 years her senior. She hadn’t even been born when he was her age. No matter, when Vladimir looked into her eyes he saw the truth. He was able to see the love and adoration in them.

The woman at his feet, other than the surgical scar, looked the same as the first day he saw her. Hands stroked along his upper thighs as those pale green eyes drank from his own gaze.

When her lips touched his cock, they both shivered. His body quaked in delight but her body trembled in reverence. For Aiah, it was like a religious experience. The man she loved above all others was in the flesh before her.

Lifting her chin upwards, green eyes gazed upon her love. Inhaling sharply, the primal scent of need and sweat engulfed the senses. The cool water cascaded around them. Droplets from his skin fell upon her. She was reminded of an anointing with holy water.

Full lips parted and she licked the droplets off of them as the water continued to fall. Aiah was surprised the he couldn’t hear the thundering in her chest as her heartbeat created a storm within. The storm had been created so long ago it seemed. That little stone house in Scotland. It was the first of the walls that appeared.

And now with the crashing of waves that beat at the stone walls that surrounded her gentle and tender heart did a single brick begin to crumble. The waters crashed and the thunder rolled. It wasn’t until the crack of lightening was she able to see clearly.

Looking down, Vladimir couldn’t help but caress her cheek. There were no words between them. They didn’t need them. His own storm raged within him. For over a dozen years they had loved one another and for the same amount of time fear held them both back.

They both thought they had given one another everything but it was a lie. It was a lie not told to each other but to themselves. The heat from the banya and the cool water of the shower purged the remnants of pain and finally allowed Vladimir and Aiah to start anew.

Aiah rose to her feet with ease. She stood there face to face and eye to eye with the man that both destroyed her and gave her a reason to live.

It was he that moved first. He drew his fingertip across the pad of her thumb. That was it. Then her took her hand in his and waited. She didn’t move. She stared at him with parted lips but with brows drawn together. Those beautiful green eyes that had looked at him that very first day with delight and wonderment now were filled with such sorrow he could barely stand to look at her.

She was going to leave.

“Vladimir, I’m sorry. I am so sorry.”

“Aiah….” After everything that had happened, he understood. If the situation had been reversed he would have been devastated.

She pulled her hand away from his.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

She kissed him. Everything that they kept from each other over the years had been laid bare and then laid to rest. The kiss was one of true love found again. Beneath the cool rain of water, heat engulfed them both. Under the water their bodies were as naked as their souls. Blunt fingers ran down her spine and he pulled her closer to him.

It may have been the first time ever that he didn’t think of her in sexual terms. No, this time it was pure love. Love wasn’t the sparks and fireworks. It was the building warmth. It was a strong and steady fire that couldn’t be snuffed out. It was the feeling of completeness, not because you need someone to complete you but because you know that they love you completely. He returned that love to her fully.

Aiah wasn’t leaving, Vladimir realized. She was pledging herself to him in ways that he didn’t understand yet.  How could she give such a gift so freely to him? It didn’t make sense. How many times had he hurt her and broken her heart? Once was too many times. Yet, his sweet Kitten loved him. Grateful didn’t even start to cover how he felt towards her.

It was love that made them who they were to each other. It was love that gave them their child. Everything had to do with the love shared because it was love that breathed life into both of their hearts.

They both realized all that was good in their lives branched from a shared love. That sort of love was not something that could be easily broken. No, it was the ultimate in virtues that everything stemmed from.  Aiah kissed her husband again.

This woman was the reason why men fought in wars. The first time her lips touched his, Aiah became his ultimate risk. He would give up everything just to hold her in his arms. Vladimir understood why storms were often named after women. From the first day they met, she caused a disturbance in his orderly world.

The perception that the world had of him was wrong. Vladimir wasn’t cold or dispassionate. It was a façade. It was because of her that he felt every nuance of emotions. There were days that he thought that he would die because of the feelings Aiah caused within him.

Their beginnings had been rough because of it. Vladimir believed for so long that the feelings he had for her left him weak. How wrong he had been!

In the beginning, Vladimir wanted to provide her with gifts. An arrangement like that wasn’t uncommon among men with much younger girlfriends. Aiah immediately laid down the ground rules. There was to be nothing given to her. She didn’t want gifts nor flowers. There wasn’t going to be them going out to expensive restaurants, shows, or anything of the like.

The first time he had something sent to her, Aiah made sure it was immediately returned unopened.

It ended up being one of the very few arguments they had. Aiah was not a woman that wanted to be kept. She preferred earning things for herself and would only relent once a year. Around her birthday she would accept a chocolate pistachio cupcake. He realized then that would be no taming her.

Not that he had any desire to tame the little minx that captivated his heart. She was quite possibly the most stubborn and opinionated woman that Vladimir had ever met. She was fun and exciting. Good lord, he never knew what she might do.

This was the girl that sent him a video of her going bungee jumping on the Guadalupe River in Texas. Aiah was the same girl that sent him another video just before he was going to bed. The sun was going down and she was on the balcony of a large opulent home that he would later know to be a vacation home of Logan’s parents. She sang to him the Johnny River’s song Slow Dancing. The way she held her phone made it look as if they were dancing together. It was the first time she said she missed him.

It was the very first glimpse he had at the silly and sometimes sappy girl that loved him. The strong girl became an even stronger woman. She would stand with him side by side or back to back, whichever was needed.

Was there ever a moment when he didn’t wish to kiss her lips and caress Aiah’s soft skin? Even when they were mad as hellfire at each other, Vladimir still wanted her. Sometimes he wanted her even more in anger.

He knew the reason. There was never any fear in her green eyes. She wouldn’t cower. Vladimir’s anger ran cold, not hot. His anger was precise on a target rather than explosive. Her warm heart could redirect the anger into something productive.

However, she made him burn. With those flames there was desire. Aiah offered her lips and body to him to take his aggressions out in a way that he understood. Touch, sex, lust and most of all his love for the closest person to him. She didn’t just offer, his wife encouraged him to do so.

His mind’s eye drifted to the mental image of gentle hands pulled up above her head and tied to the bed post. High heels that not only buckled around her ankles but held there with locks. Sodden panties were sheer and exposed her fully.

He fucked her.

He drove into Aiah’s body, manhandling her soft skin. He would leave bruises, bites, and even suck marks. It was a catharsis for him. Even more so when he would hold her gently and take care of her afterwards. Pale green eyes would look at him tenderly. Her smile and her kisses were a sweet shower of love in those moments after.

Had he ever felt the world split apart because there could be nothing sweeter than being a loved by a woman that he worshipped and believed in with equal measure? He didn’t know. Truthfully, he didn’t care either. All that mattered was her. From the first kiss until now, it was always about her.

He had been a goddamn fool.

He couldn’t pull his eyes away from her. The water cascading down her beautiful face reminded him of all the times he had made Aiah cry. Tears of joy, tears of pain, tears as he forced his cock even deeper down her throat. All of them she submitted to willingly and happily, for no other reason than she loved him.

Now, with her loving touch, Aiah took his thick cockhead between her lips. Vladimir felt each and every one of those tears he caused over the years penetrate his soul. He rejoiced in those tears. Somehow those tears told him that she was affected by him just as he was by her.

Throwing his head back, a thick strong hand knotted in her dark hair. Thrusting into that hot talented mouth, he gave himself over to her. It was a communion of a different sort. It wasn’t just him giving of his body or blood. It wasn’t even the physical release of pleasure, although Aiah did taste that on her tongue. Vladimir Putin gave himself permission to let go of the last remaining bit of fear. He acknowledged the power she had over him and loved his beautiful Aiah even more for it.

Hours later they were laying on the bed together. Her head rested on his upper abdomen while Vladimir wound her curls around his fingers. Aiah’s eyes were heavy, he could tell. She needed to sleep but wouldn’t.

“I thought you were going to tell me you were leaving for good at first.”

Her eyes flew open in surprise. “Volodya, no. I meant I was sorry for hurting you. I shouldn’t have ran from you. I should have stayed and fought.”

“No. You were right in leaving. Sometimes I only learn when the lesson is dire. Come up here with me?”

Like she always did Aiah crawled up his body and laid on top of him. She was still naked but he wore pajama bottoms. Strong arms encircled her waist and he smiled.

Reaching for his phone, he kissed her nose. “I want to show you something.” Whatever he was looking for, Vladimir found it. It was an interview about the documentary Oliver Smith made.

“It was amazing to see the transformation that came over President Putin when the future Dr. Putina came into the room. This was all taped before their relationship became known to the public. As you can see, President Putin’s expression softened before he ever saw her. It was like he could sense her presence.” Oliver Smith smiled for the camera.

“Did you notice when it happened?” The interviewer asked.

“No, I didn’t. It happened so naturally it wasn’t until I saw the footage away from the situation that I realized it. I have met Dr. Putina a couple of times now and I have worked with her father before. She is an interesting woman.”

“There has been a lot of talk about their age difference, what are your thoughts on that?”

 “Physically, yes you can see the age difference but when you see them together both President Putin and Dr. Putina are timeless. They radiate happiness. If I know President Putin like I believe I do, when Aiah Corrington caught his eye it wasn’t because she was beautiful. There are many women that are beautiful. Something happened that their souls recognized each other and it was meant to be.”

The interviewer laughed warmly. “You are a closet romantic Mr. Smith.”

“My wife would say differently.” He smiled for the camera before it cut to a scene from the film

The clip showed Aiah walking silently into the room. She looked beautiful, vibrant. A hint of a smile curved her full lips upwards and it was obvious she was happy. The wide legged black silk slacks showed off her slender waist and the amethyst colored blouse made her green eyes stand out.

She apologized in both Russian and English for the intrusion.

“When her hand was laid on his shoulder, Vladimir Putin covered her hand with his in a gentle gesture. If you look, they both leaned towards each other while Dr. Putina gave him some sort of information. It isn’t just the President of the Russian Federation that adores her. She is very much adored by the Russian people with all the work that she does.”

“We know about the works of Vladimir Putin are they different from Dr. Putina’s?”

“Yes and no.” Oliver Smith laughed. “I am positive he is aware of what she does but Dr. Putina works on her own initiative. She had made changes across the country so that people may have access to services that are needed.”

“Is that good for Russia?”

“It is excellent for Russia. She has been able to sort out the foster and orphanage system in ways that is still surprising people. She is helping to get health care more stabilized across the entire country. Other countries are taking note of what she has done and copying the reforms. If what I have heard is correct, she is the reason that some of the anti-LGBT+ laws have been changed and relaxed. Russia is very lucky. But I think President Putin is the luckiest of everyone.”

Vladimir stopped the interview footage and put his phone back beside the bed. “Did you notice that before?”

“No. I didn’t. I’m sorry Vova. I had no idea that happened. When did this air?”

“I’m not sorry.”

He touched Aiah’s chin to draw her green eyes upwards. Vladimir couldn’t help but smile. He wanted to say something but words failed him. Words were meaningless in those few moments where they looked into each other’s eyes.

His lips brushed against hers lovingly.

“Aiah. My Aiah. I love you. I don’t care who knows that I am utterly and madly in love with my wife. I do worry about your safety and the safety of our son but I am not at all sorry that the world knows I love you. It’s hasn’t aired yet. It won’t until early next year.”

“I love you Volodya. You feel good.” She kissed his nose with a smile. “It feels good to be home with you again.”

“Do you like the changes I had made to our home?”

“Yes. It seems brighter or more airy.”

“Good. That was what I wanted.” He smiled and brushed the pad of his thumb across her lips. “Your mouth looks bruised. It always does after we make love.”

Nipping at his thumb playfully, Aiah smiled. “You finally see it that way?”

“Yes. You may play the part of my harlot, strumpet, tart or even whore but you and I both know that when we come together it is out of love and desire.”

The smile she gave him was one of pure beauty.

He chuckled. “We have a routine Kitten.”

“Yes we do. Yet, it is anything but routine. The amount of joy you bring me is not something too many others seem to have.”

“I concur. You know what?”

“Hmm?”

“I want you again.”

“Will you fuck my arse this time Volodya?”

“It would be my pleasure.”

The days moved swiftly and in less than a blink of an eye it seemed that the summer was over. The crisp fall weather was upon them.

Aiah made a surprise inspection to one of the few remaining orphanages. That same day Vladimir had a meeting with the Governor from that oblast. It was done in such a manner purposely. The rumors were heinous and what Aiah found personally made her furious. Dispatching the proper crews, she called back to let her husband know what she had found.

Aiah emailed the pictures to her husband’s assistant who then printed them and brought them to Vladimir.

“Sevastian Stanislavovich tell me what is going on.”

The governor went through a few problems that they were having and suggested fixes for them which was good. Nothing was all that interesting.

“What of the remaining orphanage? I have heard a few problems.”

“I was just there yesterday. As soon as the remaining 12 children are put into foster care, we will be changing the building over into a center for after school activities.”

“How are the children doing? Are they excited?”

“They are very excited. A whole new world is available to them now because of you.”

Picking up a folder, Vladimir pulled a page out of it. “What of this?”

“Where is that supposed to be?”

“That is the orphanage you saw just yesterday.”

“Vladimir Vladimirovich someone is playing a cruel joke. It didn’t look that way.”

The next photos were children that were malnourished appearing. The building was infested with insects and rodents. “Are these too a cruel joke?”

“Yes! I have never seen these pictures before. It is a hoax!”

“That would upset my wife greatly.”

“Vladimir Vladimirovich, if Dr. Putina was there right now she would see that everything is as I said it is.”

The next pictures showed more of the same. “I only have one more picture for you, Sevastian Stanislavovich. Perhaps if you could tell me if it was a hoax or not?”

There were 12 children standing in front of the building with the address clearly marked. Behind the children was a very angry looking Aiah Putina holding up a handwritten sign with the date and time on it.

Sevastian Stanislavovich Zhuravlev was arrested for fraud and so was the director of the orphanage. Immediately placement was found for ten of the children in the surrounding area. That left two. The two that were left were siblings that had no other family besides each other.

A quick call to Valya Belova, Kolya’s wife, got the two boys a good placement with one of the Belov neighbors that fostered several boys already. The boys would be flying back to Moscow with Aiah. She made certain that the two boys were happy before heading home. Their foster parents made sure to show her around and what all they had done for their charges with the help of Valya and Kolya.

Vladimir Putin and Dmitry Medvedev were sitting in billiards room talking.

“Where is Aiah?” Dima asked.

“She was given some awful details about one of the remaining orphanages. I had Sevastian Stanislavovich in my office today while she was up in his region.  He should be glad that he is only being charged with fraud and the likes. I could have let Aiah go after him instead.”

Both men were laughing when she walked in.

“Ah. There she is.”

“Hello Dima.” Aiah leaned down and kissed her husband. “Hi darling.”

“Good day Aiah?”

She took a seat next to Vladimir. “Twelve kids living in a building that should have been condemned before any of us were born went to good homes. I won’t complain. Vadya asleep Volodya?”

“He went down about two hours ago.”

“What are you two discussing?”

Both men hesitated.

“Ah. LGBTQ+ rights then.”

“Aiah….” Vladimir spoke first.

“Gay and Lesbian couples are wanting the right to adopt and foster.” Medvedev filled in. “On that note, I shall bid you both a good evening. Svenka will appreciate me home before she is ready to sleep.”

They both wished Dima Medvedev a good night before resuming the conversation.

“What’s wrong with that?”

“Kitten, a gay man does not need to be around little boys.”

“By that logic you shouldn’t have been allowed around your daughters Vladimir.”

He sighed. “It’s different.”

“No, it’s not different. If we decided to have another child and we have a daughter would you take our daughter away from me?”

“Of course not!”

“You’ve seen me fuck a woman before! Or have you forgotten?”

“Believe me Kitten that is something I will never forget.”

“Please Vladimir, there are so many children that need parents.”

“We will talk about this later. Put me something together with statistics from other countries on abuse and whatnot. Show me what I need to see.”

“Thank you.” She gave him a kiss.

He chuckled and smiled. “Only you Kitten. Only you.”

“Would you like to watch a movie for a bit?”

“No.”

“Oh?”

“I want you to fuck me senseless.”

“Aiah! I am not a young man anymore.”

It was she who chuckled that time. “Okay. So would you like to watch me masturbate?”

“I might not be young but I am not that old!”

She laughed happily. “I love you Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin. My Volodya. My world.”

In the early morning hours, Vladimir reached for his wife only to discover her side of the bed was empty. When Aiah didn’t return after 15 minutes, he went looking for her.

Sitting in the plush rocking chair in Vadya’s bedroom was Aiah. Singing softly to their son, she held him gently. His head laid against her shoulder while she rocked him in her arms. Vladimir stood in the doorway. The sun was just starting to come up and it bathed his wife and child in the warm light of morning.

White cotton nightgown looked to be something out of Victorian England. The finely spun cotton was soft to the touch. Her slender figure was a shadow beneath the material. Thick and shining curls spilled down her back. While Vadya was not breast feeding, Vladimir was reminded of the Madonna Vitta. 

“Aiah?”

She looked up, smiling softly at her husband. “He’s running a temperature. Our Vadya has a bit of a cold.”

He walked over to her. “Do you want me to take him?”

“Only if you want to Volodya. I’m fine.”

“What is his temperature?”

“37.8”

“Let me take him for a bit.”

He picked his son up and cradled him to his chest. Vladimir smiled when Vadya whispered ‘Papa’ and wrapped his arms around his neck. Aiah got up to give him the chair then curled up at her husband’s feet. The three of them slept just like that for a couple of hours.

It was Vladimir that woke first, which was unusual. Aiah was usually up before he was. The day was going to be a light one so he called down to tell the staff that neither he nor Aiah would be seeing anyone and cleared their schedules.

He didn’t move from the chair. He and Vadya were covered in a warm blanket. Aiah, who lived up to her nickname of Kitten, was sleeping peacefully with her head against Vladimir’s thigh.

He teared up all of a sudden. Vladimir thanked God silently for giving him this moment. So many time he had wished that he had met Aiah as a younger man. He realized long ago that there was no way he would have been able to handle her. To be given another chance like this was a gift. 

His parents weren’t the affectionate sort and neither was he. At least he wasn’t affectionate prior to Aiah. Part of it was lack of knowledge on how to be affectionate with a woman. The fear of rejection that had lingered since he was a teenager didn’t help matters. Instead, Vladimir equated sex to affection often times.

Recognizing that he did, Aiah showed him different ways to be affectionate. She anticipated his needs and took care of him. When not working, she touched Vladimir casually and let it linger. They spoke often and Aiah always made sure to tell him when he touched her in a way she enjoyed.

Outside of when she was working with him, they were always alone. They could touch without prying eyes on them. Slowly he learned how to be more affectionate. It wasn’t just with her either. It would carry over to his children and grandchildren.

How many years had it taken to feel this sort of peace? It didn’t matter. All that mattered now was that he had it. It would be after the summit meeting in Dubai next week that he would speak to Aiah about his stepping down. He was ready. He wanted to spend time with her and Vadya. Not just time spent but to enjoy each other as a family should.

Reaching down, he stroked Aiah’s head gently. It was just the other day at dinner that he teased her that she should have been president, not he.  She had looked at him like he was losing his mind. He explained to her why.  His wife was friends with his ex-wife. They were quite good friends at that.  While even though he and Lyudmila married for reasons other than love, he had been awful.

When his daughters, Masha and Katya, first learned about his much younger lover, they hated her. It wasn’t surprising that they did but Aiah worked hard to cultivate a relationship with them. Now, they loved her as much as she loved them.  Lyudmila, Aiah, his daughters, his son and grandsons would often spend a weekend vacationing together every couple of months.

She would have been able to negotiate world peace without a hitch. Smiling, he remembered how she rolled her eyes at him.

 “Good morning Vova.” Aiah nuzzled her cheek against his thigh. “How is our boy doing?”

“Good morning Kitten. His fever broke. Come, let us put him back to bed so we can do the same.”

“I need to shower and get ready for the day.”

“I wiped our schedules. I know we both would worry about Vadim and getting anything done would be impossible.”

“Thank you.” Aiah stood up and stretched. “I’m going to let Katerina and Larissa know that he is ill.”

 A week later they were eating breakfast with Vadya while Vladimir was going over the day’s schedule.

“Are you prepared to leave for Dubai?”

“Of course.” Aiah took a sip of her black coffee. “I’m only bringing 2 other interpreters with us, both men. It’s too difficult to be a woman in the Middle East if you don’t know the rules, so to speak.”

“Dink peas.” Vadya was asking for more milk.

Smiling, Aiah rose from her chair to fill Vadya’s cup. “There you go sweetheart.” She kissed his head when he said his version of thank you.

Vladimir studied his wife. They had made love twice before getting ready for their day. Already he wanted her again. It wasn’t just sex. The way her body would arch and lift to get as close to him as she could. She didn’t just call out for him she sang his name like a choir of angels. Knowing she wanted him to that degree made him feel on top of the world.

“Volodya?”

Her voice brought him back to reality. “Yes?”

“Are you alright?”

“Yes. I was just thinking about what needed to be done today. I need to get to my office. Will you come with me for a few moments?”

“Of course.”

They went to the other side of the residence where their offices were. Aiah dropped her son off with Larissa. Larissa and Vadya usually stayed in the room next to Aiah’s office that had been converted into a nursery. Vladimir told everyone that he didn’t want to be bothered. When they finally made it into his office, she didn’t realize he locked the door behind them.

“Vova, is something wrong?”

“Wrong? No. I need a few moments with my Kitten.” The words were gruff. “Bend over my desk Aiah. We don’t have long.”

“We don’t need long.”

Just being told to bend over sent shivers up her spine. In seconds, his desire became both of theirs. Doing as he asked, Aiah bent over his desk. Her backside was up in the air and the way she moved the dress she wore rose upwards. There was just a glimpse her panties to be seen.

He didn’t bother with foreplay. He didn’t bother to make sure that she was ready. No, this time he took what he wanted. Those black silk panties were shoved to the side and he buried himself inside of his wife. Vladimir groaned.

Hands pulled the top of her dress down and teased her nipples. Twisting and stroking the small peaks, Aiah thrust back and up with a whimper. Her hands gripped at the top edge of the desk like she was holding on for dear life.  

With her skirt rucked up to her waist, Aiah cried out. While he was rough, there was a gentleness to him as well. His hands gripped her soft skin in ways that would leave her bruised for days. Pain and pleasure were divine and she let Vladimir know how good he felt without words.  

“Turn over Aiah.” He pulled back.

She did as asked without hesitation. Legs splayed open, her arse was at the edge of his desk. He took his wife again roughly. However, his kisses were soft and sweet on Aiah’s lips. Her breasts were exposed. Even as a mother, her full breasts were rounded and firm. Pink nipples were erect and he dipped his head to suckle upon each one.

Legs wrapped around him, pulling his body closer. Vladimir loved the way she met him with each thrust. Her body lifted, only to grind against him. It took no time at all until the first orgasm rocked through her.

Pulling out, he came on her lower abdomen while his lips claimed her flesh. The kiss was just one way to show his beloved how much he loved and wanted her. Vladimir rubbed his copious pleasure into her skin before offering his fingers for her to lick clean. Like a Kitten with a bowl of cream, Aiah cleaned them happily.

“Don’t change or clean up. I want you wearing me all day Aiah.” He slid her now sodden panties back into place.

“You do love to keep me in a constant state of arousal.”

“Of course Kitten. Of course. When I see you this evening I want the tiniest touch from me to give you sweet pleasure and exquisite pain.”

They helped each other right their appearance before they began to discuss what they needed to do that day. He pulled her on to his lap to savor her just a few moments longer.

“I didn’t realize you were blocked off this afternoon.”

“Yes, looking at the school lunch programs.”

Chuckling softly, he shook his head. “I can see the excitement in your eyes.”

“If anyone knows about my….excitement…it would be you Volodya.” Aiah grinned cheekily at him. She was excited about the meeting.

“My Kitten is a very naughty girl.”

Aiah stood up. Shaking her head with laughter, she grabbed Vladimir’s tie. Just a little tug and she pulled him closer. She spoke only for his husband to hear.

“Careful darling. Or I will show you exactly how naughty I am when I am finished.” Her lips caressed the shell of his ear. “I won’t care what office you are in or if you are alone. I will stride my nearly naked arse into your office wearing a pair of those panties you so love to destroy and the high heels that lock around my ankles. I don’t care who sees me on my knees sucking your cock or bent over a piece of furniture with your cock inside of me. They can watch and listen to me beg you for more. Maybe they will even learn a thing or two from their President.” She teased.

“I might not let you leave now.”

“Just keep thinking of what I will do when I return.”

“How can I not!?”

There was to be an interview that day but it was with a Russian speaking American at the Kremlin. Aiah wasn’t needed for that interview and Peskov would be in the room with Vladimir. They gave each other a kiss goodbye and started their day.

The interview was wrapping up with mostly lighthearted questions.

“President Putin, do you get jealous over men wanting the attentions of Dr. Putina?”

“At first I did. Then there was part of me that wanted to show her off. Look what is mine sort of mentality. Now? It’s mostly amusing. Sometimes it gets worrisome from a security standpoint but I have no doubt where my Aiah’s heart lies.” He smiled and chuckled.

“We have had a lot of fan questions get asked. One of the most popular ones is how close to the average Russian do you live?”

“In our family life? Very close, in a sense. Aiah enjoys cooking and normally makes breakfast and dinner. When Vadya was learning how to use a spoon, he would feed himself a bite and then feed me a bite.”

The interviewer laughed warmly. “I bet that was quite amusing.”

“My wife filmed part of it. She thought it was hysterical. If you ask, she may send it to you.” He smiled. “Our downtime usually revolves around our son. Vadya isn’t even two years old yet and he is involved in sports.”

“Such as?”  

“It’s all very basic. We play with balls to build his hand and eye coordination. Vadya swims. He rides a pony with a saddle that is similar to a car seat. My son is just like any other child, generally speaking. Aiah has already begun teaching him English and German to go along with his native Russian.” He smiled. “Then there are the trappings of the presidency that are not at all like the average Russian. Our home, for example, isn’t average. Nor is our travel.”

“President Putin, what makes you happy?”

“Spending time with my wife, daughters, son and grandsons. Our grandsons call Aiah Lolly. When she would go to England for something she always brought them a very specific candy lollipop.”

“What is your favorite activity?”

“Taking my son and grandsons fishing.” Vladimir smiled. “Vadya turns 2 soon but he is very good about sitting on his Mama’s lap and fishing. He’s a happy little boy. My grandsons are also excellent fishermen. I was surprised to find out that Aiah loves to fish. Apparently her father and godfather used to take her out in the Gulf of Mexico off the Texas coast often as a child and teen.”

 On the last Sunday in November, she was up in the early hours of the morning.  Everything that was publically done for New Year’s and Christmas was handled by various members of their staff.

However, Aiah was working on the details for their private celebration. Since her family had just visited two months ago, they wouldn’t be coming in for Christmas or New Year’s. Aiah knew her father was glad for that. He hated the cold. Once a Texan, always a Texan she smiled to herself.

The presents for everyone were purchased and hidden for the large New Year’s celebration. There were a few more she wanted to get for Vladimir but she was still trying to decide what. The list was endless.

This would be their first year to do a small celebration on December 25th. Aiah decided she wanted to show everyone what was traditional for English and American families. She had stockings for everyone in the family and they were filled to capacity. Having been adamant about no gifts for her, she made certain to get something very special for everyone. Each member of the family would be given a book, as was tradition with her parents. Then they would receive something else from her. For Vladimir, Aiah had gotten him a cutting of the sound waves from the first song they danced to at their wedding.

He was not receiving an ordinary book. This one was handwritten by Aiah. Being a meticulous record keeper, she read through the journals she kept and wrote a novel for him based on their very own love story. It was her very own fanfiction. Of course, it was very smutty.

Finally finished, Aiah went back to their bedroom. She wanted to grab her tablet to read while drinking coffee.

“Aiah?” Vladimir reached over for her.

“I’m right here. Was just going to go make coffee.”

There it was again. That smile. Vladimir stared at his wife. There was just enough light that filtered into their dark bedroom to illuminate Aiah. She was happy. No, it was more than that. Not only was she content, his Kitten was buoyant. The sparkle in her eyes had returned and he hadn’t even known it was missing.

Realizing the last time he saw her look like this, was before she saw him with Elizaveta. While Vladimir remembered the last time he saw her like this, he also remembered the first time.

A photograph he had been given with her dossier was a professional headshot. It was easy to tell Aiah Corrington was a lovely young woman. A photograph like that couldn’t convey the depth of the woman she was. Poised and professional, when their eyes met she showed no fear.

Her lips had been parted ever so slightly and she was smiling. It wasn’t a professional smile. It was a look of pleasure at his quiet presence. They hadn’t even been introduced and their attraction was so powerful that it shook him to his very core.

And now it was even more powerful than ever.

“May I kiss you?”

She kissed him first. Again.

They were returning to Moscow after the Dubai trip. Vladimir smiled at his sleeping wife.

Aiah had caused quite a stir. Instead of being shown around the UAE city-state like the other spouses, she had been with him most of the time. She had dressed beautifully but far more modestly than any of the other women from outside of the Middle East. She even covered her hair with a lightweight scarf.

One of the Princes was so charmed by Aiah, he mentioned it to his wife while preparing for the formalities later that evening. His wife was the designer Inara who sold a beautiful line of modest clothing.

“Volodya?”

“Yes Kitten?”

“Which dress for tonight?” Aiah was standing before the two dresses wearing nothing.

“I like your third option.”

“Third?”

He wrapped his arms around her waist and kissed the back of her neck. “This one.”

“Trying to get me arrested?” She leaned back against him.

“I’ll handcuff you to the bed.”

“Promise?”

“Naughty Kitten.”

“Only because you made me this way.”

“Darling, if I remember correctly you were a naughty girl the first time we met.”

She laughed merrily.

“Tonight is more of a cocktail hour wear the jade green with the gold. It will match your eyes.”

Aiah braided her hair back while leaving a few curls loose. And then topped it with a semi-sheer golden scarf. She wore it the way she normally did if they had a function with the Russian Orthodox Church.

The dress was a pale jade color that was only a couple of shades darker than her eyes. The under layer was a golden tunic that fell to the tops of her feet. The top layer was that beautiful jade green. It split down the center with gold embroidery on either side. The embroidery was delicate and fine with the traditional Russian floral pattern.

It nipped in at the waist and across the breasts only slightly to appear more fitted than it was. The sleeves were also done in the lantern style that was popular still in traditional Russian clothing styles. Jewelry was kept simple. The Cartier bracelet was locked on her wrist. Aiah wore her wedding rings and a pair of tiny gold stud earrings as well

Vladimir gazed at his wife with a smile. “Shall we my beautiful love?” He offered his arm to her.

Taking it, Aiah blushed.

“Even now, after 14 years together, you still blush beautifully Kitten.”

In the limo, they were discussing how Aiah had everything set up.

“Viktor will be with you at all times, unless you tell him otherwise.” Victor was an FSO agent and also spoke most of the languages in attendance.  Not only was it for Vladimir’s safety but Aiah usually had to stop and speak to someone as often as he did.

“I will try to be there with you. I would rather not have to speak to the Americans alone. This is where I say bloody hell I miss my godparents.”

He chuckled. “It’s fine Kitten. We have done this plenty of times. However, hearing you call them the Americans is quite humorous.”

“Well, I have to. Volodya, in British slang a trump is a fart. And in American slang a johnson is a cock.”

Vladimir laughed hard. “Oh Kitten, you should not have told me that!”

Arriving at their destination, there was heavy security surrounding them from the event coupled with their own security. After working with Vladimir for so many years security wasn’t usually something she paid attention to. This, however, felt oppressive.

When the American president and his wife approached it took everything Aiah had not to roll her eyes.

The men shook hands but Aiah never offered hers. She smiled politely and gave a nod of her head instead.

Vladimir and Mr. Trump were speaking quietly with Viktor and an American interpreting. Out of habit Melania did the same.

“It’s alright, English is actually my first language.” Aiah replied softly.

“Oh. I didn’t know. You are from the UK?”

“Sort of. I was born in England but I grew up all over the world. My parents were in the military. Mum was RAF and my Father was US Army.”

“Expat?”

“My father? No. He’s American. They live in the US now.”

“Is it difficult living so far from them Dr. Putin?”

“Luckily that is what video conferencing is for.” She chuckled “You are Slovenian yes?

“Yes, have you ever been?”

Switching from English, Aiah spoke softly in Slovene. “Quite a number of times actually. I was normally around the area of Lake Bled due to work. I’ve been there perhaps two dozen times.”

“That is a beautiful area.” The older First Lady smiled.

“Very much so. I got to be there a few times in winter. The young lads showed me how to play and understand hockey. Which came in handy with Volodya.”

“Your son?”

“No, my husband.” Aiah smiled patiently. “It’s my nickname for him. No different than someone that is close friends calling your husband Don.” She saw Viktor motion for her. “If you will excuse me please. I am apparently needed.” Viktor deserves a raise she thought.

The often dour President of the Russian Federation brightened visibly with his wife by his side. The same thing happened with Aiah. It was obvious that she was happy standing with him. The glance they gave each other was a brief look of love and intimacy.

When she greeted Angela Merkel it was with warmth and familiarity. The two women laughed at something which made Putin smile with pleasure. It was a whirlwind of people from all over the world.

Prince Ra’id paused after spotting Vladimir and Aiah.

After the formalities they stood talking to the Crown Prince. Victor was translating for Vladimir since Aiah’s attention was on the Prince.

“Oh, there she is. I was hoping you would have a chance to meet my wife Dr. Putina.”

Glancing in the direction he motioned, Aiah raised a fast hand to her mouth in surprise. “Your wife is one of my favorite designers.”

“Really?”

“Yes. The work of Inara is almost all I wear to countries where Islam is practiced by the majority. My apologies.” She tipped her head down. “Your Royal Highness, I did not address her properly. I meant no offense.”

“There is none taken Dr. Putina. My wife’s line is simply called Inara. I was telling her about you and your husband. She wanted to meet you. You both share a passion in helping children.”

The two women became friends immediately. With Aiah explaining that the dress she had brought for the following night’s dinner being one of Inara’s creations the two women laughed happily. Within moments both Princess and Doctor were focused on each other and not their husbands.

“Volodya?” Aiah was waking up. She had a stomach ache earlier.

“Yes Kitten?”

“Where are we?”

“Close to home. We will be landing in about twenty minutes.”

Sitting up, she checked her email quickly. “I heard back from the girls.”

“What about?”

“They will be coming out on 24 Dec and staying overnight so we may have Lolly’s Christmas with everyone.” She laughed. “Apparently that is what Tisha and Kolenka are calling it.”

“This will be the first time all of us will be together in one home.”

“Yes it will be.”

Katerina came walking out from one of the many rooms on the jet. Vadya had woken from his nap too.

“Thank you Katerina.” Vladimir took his son.

While Vadya looked like Aiah, he had expressions that mimicked his father. He could look so very serious for such a young child, just like pictures of Vladimir as a little boy. Father and son were having a conversation that seemed very deep.

Watching with a smile, Aiah almost teared up. She never expected to be a mother. Now? There was nothing that made her happier than her husband and son. It had been a long conversation about what to do with Vadim when they were traveling. Leaving their child in Russia when they were thousands of kilometers away was not something either parent looked forward to.

Since Aiah was in charge of all of the other interpreters used by her husband, it wasn’t feasible for her to stay behind in Moscow. Where they went Vadya came with them.  Although, nobody was aware of that when they traveled.

“Good evening Ivan.” Aiah, who was carrying her son, greeted their major domo upon returning to the residence.

Immediately, Vladimir went to his office.

“Good evening Dr. Putina. You had three very large boxes arrive earlier today for you.”

 “From my parents?”

“Yes, specifically your mother.”

“Wonderful. If you would see that it is left in the sitting room please? Also, will you have a Christmas tree brought up there as well?”

“Of course Dr. Putina. Is there anything else you need?”

“Not that I am aware of. I am going to feed Vadya and retire for the evening.”

Vadya, upon hearing his name, became aware that they were home. “Iya! IYA! IYA!!” Eye-yah was how the toddler pronounced Ivan. Scrunching his nose, he reached for the major domo.

“Obviously someone is glad to see you.” Aiah smiled brightly.

“Mama Iya!”

“May I take him Dr. Putina? I can escort you both to the kitchen.”

“Yes, please. Vadya would be thrilled.”

Ivan Kuznetsov had been in the employ of Vladimir Putin for a number of years. Although, only the major domo for about three of those years. He was a very tall and slender man that looked similar to Aiah’s father. Fiercely loyal and protective of his employers, he was also one of Vadya’s favorite people.

“Sit Ivan, have a cup of tea while I fix Vadya something to eat.”

“Thank you Dr. Putina.”

Vadya and Ivan and a nice long conversation.

A bath came next. Aiah had just put her son in his pyjamas on him when Vladimir came in.

One bedtime story later, Vadya was sound asleep.

“Anything you need to do Kitten or shall we retire?” He held Aiah’s hand while walking back to their bedroom.

“I’m ready for some alone time with my husband.”

“He is a lucky man to have married a woman like you. I’m almost jealous of him.”

“I’m the lucky one. Besides, you should see his cock. Delicious.”

“What am I going to do with you?”

“Let me suck your cock and I’ll give you some other ideas.”

“I am unable to say no to you. How is that?”

“You are a good man Volodya. You love to make your wife happy.”

“That I do.”

The following day, Aiah stayed in the private area of the residence. The three boxes from her parents were huge. One of the boxes was filled with presents for everyone, including Vladimir’s daughters and grandsons. Presents filled half of another box. It made Aiah chuckle. The rest was Christmas decorations from the US and England. Ten hours later, everything was decorated for the American and English Christmas. Baskets of oranges pierced with cloves were found around their spacious home. Pine boughs tied with red and gold ribbons looked lovely strung over mantles. The best part was the train and village that went around the entire sitting room. Their grandsons would love it. She had been entertaining Vadya with it for a while when Vladimir walked in.

“Is this what was in the boxes?”

“Mum and Dad went a wee bit overboard but yes.” Aiah smiled up at him.

“You didn’t do the tree?”

“I thought since this would be our first Christmas with Vadya we should all do it together.”

“My Kitten thinks of everything. Let me change and I will be back.”

They decorated the tree with both English types of ornaments and those from Russia. It only took about an hour for them to finish. Pulling out her phone, Aiah took a picture and texted it to her parents. She would take better ones in the morning.

“Hungry?” Aiah smiled.

“Famished.”

“Good. I have a beef stew simmering for you and Vadim.”

“And you?”

“Same thing, just without the meat.”

The stew was similar to the traditional zharkoye which Aiah served with thick black bread. They talked quietly throughout the simple meal. The weather was cold and the hearty stew was just what the doctor ordered.

“Aiah, I have decided to step down. It’s time.”

“When?”

“I was thinking on Victory Day.”

“Vladimir, whatever you feel you need I will support you 100%. I love you. If you wish to complete your elected term, it is alright.”

“I don’t. Each day the activities I loved doing have become less and less enjoyable. I want to be with you and Vadya. Even though I know you are mere minutes from wherever I am, I don’t want to worry about clearances and who sees what.  I want to do everything we haven’t had time to do. I want to take you back to that little beach bungalow you had rented and make love to you for hours.”

“That would be quite lovely.” Soft lips pressed to his. “I have a present for you.”

“Does it involve you in lingerie?”

She laughed happily. “It can.”

“I need to take care of something before I am done for the evening. Give me an hour?”

“I will hold you to that Vladimir Vladimirovich. In 61 minutes I will find you and waltz my bare arse into whatever room you are in.”

“Tempting Kitten.” He kissed her then Vadya.

After straightening up, she took Vadya up for his bath and then it would be bedtime for him.

Seated on the bed in the lotus position, Aiah wore one of Vladimir’s undershirts. Her eyes were closed and there was just a hint of a smile on her full lips. When he walked out of the bathroom he smiled.

“So what is this present Kitten? Do I get to undress you?”

“If you would like, of course.” There was something wicked in her green eyes. “It’s an actual present Volodya.”

She held up a box wrapped in glossy red paper and tied with a red and gold bow. The package was maybe about 5 cm thick and about the length and width of a piece of paper otherwise.

“What is it?”

“Open it and see.”

He went slowly. Taking the paper apart so as not to ruin it. Underneath all the paper and ribbons was a plain white box. Opening it, the frame inside held three pictures across on the top and one on the bottom. They were Aiah’s ultrasounds from when she was carrying Vadim.

“Touch the upper right corner.”

When Vladimir did, he heard the sound of his son’s heartbeat.

“Aiah…….” He teared up. “This is beautiful. Thank you. Why is this one on the bottom not labeled?”

“That is your son that hasn’t been born yet Volodya.”

“You’re?”

She nodded. “I didn’t have any idea until I was going through my planner. We’ve been so busy that I haven’t even bothered to pay attention to my body. I’m five months along. Your son will be here this spring.”

Pulling her down with him to the mattress, his hands cupped her cheeks. Looking into her pale green eyes, Vladimir smiled with tears in his eyes. “Thank you.”

“Vova, there is no reason to thank me. Your love created half of our child.”

“It’s not just you giving me another child. Thank you for being what I needed. Thank you for being the woman I knew that I could fight with and fight for. Thank you my sweet Kitten for being strong enough to survive me and strong enough to love me. So, yes Aiah. Thank you. Thank you for the wonderful life you have given me.”

“I love you Volodya. It’s always been you and only you.”

“I know. I love you too. While I have been a fool it also has only been you and only you.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

Christmas Eve (UK and US)

 

Aiah was in the kitchen, finishing up everything for the evening meal, when the family started to arrive. Tisha and his cousin Kolenka came running in to see her.

“My boys!” Smiling happily, she went down on one knee to hug them and cover their sweet faces with kisses. “You both have been good, yes?”

“Yes Lolly.”

“Yes Lolly.”

“Where are your mamas?”

“Talking to Deda.” 

“Can we help you with anything Lolly?” Tisha asked.

“You can help me drink some hot cocoa?”

“Yes!”

“Go get your Mamas and Deda. I’ll bring everything into the dining room.”

On the sideboard, Aiah set up a small area with things that could be added into the hot chocolate. There were peppermint sticks, marshmallows, pieces of chocolate and more. There were also an assortment of homemade cookies and candies.

Aiah even made a pistachio honey toffee for her husband.

Returning with two large pots of the hot chocolate, there were already mugs laid out. And Vadya’s sippy cup was in the mix as well. His had an ice cube in it to cool the drink down. Fixing Vadya’s first, the family started to come in.

“Aiah!” Masha hugged her stepmother. “You look wonderful.”

“So do you. I have missed you.” Aiah beamed happily and turned to hug Katya as well. “Ah Katya! You look beautiful. I have missed you both so much.”

“Good. You look wonderful. I always look tired chasing after that one.” Katya nodded to her son.

“I’m a little faster than Vadya still. Not by much however.” Aiah smiled happily.

The dinner was served as a cold buffet. There were smoked meats, fish and excellent cheeses. All of the popular salads were included in the meal as well. The breads were all made by Aiah herself. The only things that she didn’t make were the actual meats and cheeses. Desserts were fairly simple trifles but delicious as always. For her husband, there was homemade pistachio ice cream.

After dinner they retired to the sitting room for a bit. The three boys were excited about the train. Tisha and Kolenka were both patient and kind with their “Uncle Vadya”. The children played for a bit while the adults chatted.

Soon Aiah slid down to the floor so that she may pass out the Christmas Eve gifts. There must have been something in the way that she moved that exposed her because all of a sudden Masha was wide eyed.

“Aiah! Are you pregnant?!”

Vladimir chuckled softly from behind his wife. He could see how Aiah’s cheeks were the color of a good borscht. Reaching down, his hand laid gently on her shoulder. Automatically, she covered his hand with her own.

“Yes.” Still red faced, her voice was soft. “I’m five months along but we just found out. I wasn’t keeping track of things like I should have and well? Oops. We were going to tell you tomorrow.”

Both of the girls went to their father and Aiah. Kissing his cheek and hugging her, they congratulated them both. It was sometimes still painful for the girls but they knew both their mother and father were far happier now than they ever were before.

“How about we open some presents?” Aiah changed the subject quickly.

All three of the boys came running over. Vadya threw himself at his mother but was caught by his father instead. Vladimir hoisted his son on to his lap. Tisha and Kolenka sat on either side of their Lolly.

“In the United States and in England they have different names for Ded Moroz. In England, where I am from, we called him Father Christmas. And in the United States where Pepaw and Nana live, he is called Santa Claus. Today is the night before Christmas over there.”

“Why Lolly?” Tisha looked up at her.

“Do you want to know why does he have a different name or why do we celebrate different days?” Aiah smiled to her grandsons.

“Both please?”

“The different names are simply because we have different words for things. Your Deda calls me Koshka but in English it would be Kitten. Same meaning but different words. Why do we celebrate different days? Maybe Ded Moroz and his Snegurochka need to take a short break? After all, we live in the biggest country! And I know from experience that Russian children are the best children in the entire world! So that means Russian children get more presents than all the rest of the children combined. So maybe Ded Moroz and Snegurochka take a little rest before delivering to Russia?”

“That’s because Deda makes sure that we are the best.” Kolenka said solemnly.

“Yes he does.” Aiah smiled and ruffled her grandson’s hair. Kolenka was proud of his grandfather. “It was a tradition when I was growing up that you were allowed to unwrap two presents on Christmas Eve. One present was always a book. Pepaw had spent time in Iceland when he was at university and it was tradition there to give books on Christmas Eve. Then you spent an evening reading and simply enjoying your loved ones.”

“Masha, will you hand me the two green sparkly gifts?” Those were from Aiah’s parents.

The green sparkle presents were for Aiah’s grandsons. They were gifts from her parents. When Clarice started to learn Russian it was speaking and not reading. Reading, especially in cursive writing was difficult. With the help of Aiah and two of her colleagues from London, they came up with a tablet of sorts.

The books would be the exact same page on the left and the right. One would be in English and the other in Russian. It was a fun learning tool that Clarice and Tobias thought the boys would enjoy. The tablets that the boys received contained the complete works of Roald Dahl, which was one of Aiah’s favorite authors when she was a child.

The girls were given something similar but with books in their respective fields of study. Vadya was given Dragons Love Tacos which made Aiah laugh. He had his first taco earlier in the week.

“Deda did Pepaw and Nana get you something?” Kolenka asked.

“Yes, it looks to be very interesting.” Vladimir held up the book before handing it down to his wife to see.

There was a note tucked in the book that he showed to Aiah. Reading it, she smiled softly.

Clarice bought the same book for me. This is the story of two family members, one on the East and the other on the West sides of Berlin in the middle 80s. It is about what two men faced on each side of the wall and how it was exactly the same but utterly different. Perhaps you and I will have time to discuss when we both finish reading? We would love for you both to come out around Aiah’s birthday in the spring. It’s prime fishing weather in Texas.

 – Tobias.

The book was a peace offering from Tobias as was the fishing trip. Looking up at him, Aiah smiled beautifully.

The girls were given exquisite hand crafted pens with the most beautiful of briefcases. Aiah had gotten remote control cars that could go either in dirt or snow for the grandsons. Vladimir’s gift was the most special of all. And he had no idea what it was.

“Aiah? It doesn’t open.” It was a small white box, not even the size of a deck of cards.

“It’s not supposed to. Press the center.”

Immediately the box came to life and it started to play a soft but deep sound. Once again, Vladimir looked to his wife.

“Play with it Volodya the different lights are different sounds. Under each light is a dial to speed it up or slow it down.”

The music was soft and low. It was something that felt warm and relaxing.

“What is the music?” He looked at her.

“Each little dot of light is the heartbeat of someone that loves you set to music. I took everyone’s heartbeat. Your son, grandsons, daughters, and mine are all on there. This one….” Aiah patted her belly. “Will be put on there after he is born. What you are listening to right now is your own heartbeat. This is what Noah has been working on for years. It’s to help people relax and a keepsake. He and I composed the music but he was the one that actually played the cello.”

Later that night, Aiah was sound asleep curled up against her husband. Vladimir was still awake, which wasn’t too unusual. Listening to the music of heartbeats, he smiled. They had called Aiah’s parents to thank them and also wish them Merry Christmas. Logan and Noah would be coming in for New Year’s Eve.

Looking to his sleeping wife, Vladimir smiled. Naked and warm, he couldn’t help but pull her in that much closer. She was smiling in her sleep and looked utterly at peace. She probably was, he mused. His happy laughing Kitten had returned to him. They still had a ways to go in healing the damage he had done but it was a good start.

“I love you Aiah.” The words were but a whisper as he pressed a kiss to her cheek.

“I love you my Volodya.”

“Did I wake you?”

“No.” Soft lips pressed to his mouth and there was a note of hunger in Aiah’s kiss. “My wanting you woke me.”

“Is that so?”

He kissed her nipple, feeling it harden beneath his lips. Vladimir realized how much more full her breasts were. They both had been blind to her changing body. Sucking gently, his hand slid down her stomach and then moved lower.

Her sweet sighs of pleasure mingled with his growls of lust. In the dark they simply touched each other’s bodies with love. There was no reason to rush the long languid strokes of their fingers that traced patterns across flesh. A hungry mouth tasted warm skin upon the pulse point as the slid into the decadence of their love. The delectable tremors of shared affection while two became as one. It mattered not who touched who, just that they did.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

7 October 2049

 

The applause was spectacular as Aiah and Vladimir sat in the audience watching their youngest son on stage in Moscow. Three years younger than his brother Vadya, Aleksandr Vladimirovich Putin was born on his father’s birthday.

Vladimir was fond of telling Vadya that he was the greatest Christmas present he was ever given. Sasha was told something similar as he was the greatest birthday present ever received.

For as long as either parent could remember, their youngest had loved music. Not only did he love music, he was very gifted. Aiah made sure to nurture that talent. Sasha had earned his doctoral degree in microbiology at 25. He had been afraid not to have a backup career. The degree had been left behind as he had become an internationally known musician and song writer.

“Thank you.” Sasha smiled to the sold out crowd. “I am going to do something a little different tonight. This is a genre that doesn’t get a lot of play here but the song was one my mother used to sing to me and my brother. Today is my father’s 97<sup>th</sup> birthday. Papa, this is for you. Happy Birthday. I love you.”

From the shadows there was a second voice singing. Walking out on to the stage was Vadya. The brothers sang for the first time publically together to a raucous crowd.

I got sent home from school one day with a shiner on my eye

Fightin' was against the rules and it didn't matter why

When dad got home I told that story just like I'd rehearsed

Then stood there on those tremblin' knees and waitin' for the worst

 

And he said……Let me tell you a secret about a father's love

A secret that my daddy said was just between us

He said daddies don't just love their children every now and then

It's a love without end, amen

It's a love without end, amen

 

Love without End Amen’ made Aiah tear up. It had been one of her father’s favorite songs. Tobias Corrington would sing it to Aiah often when she was a child. It was why she sang it to her own sons. Vladimir held tight to his wife’s hand. There was just the barest tremble of emotion to be seen on the stoic former President of the Russian Federation. Aiah knew what that meant. Vladimir was working hard to control what his sons evoked in him.

Their sons didn’t stop there. The moved right into the second song.

I was young when I was told.
Take a chance before you're old.
Live a life you're proud to share.
Don't look back and don't be scared.
Say your prayers and don't be late.
When in doubt just keep the faith.
Learn to walk before you run, and soon you'll be a man my son.
Now I am right where I belong, I hear your voice and I am strong.
And I will carry you with me, 'till journey's end, I'll always be, my father's son, my father's son.
He left me lesson all around.
Like keep your feet on solid ground.
Let your words and honor be.
The truth and strength for all the world to see.
Now I am right where I belong, I hear you voice and I am strong.
And I will carry you with me, 'till journey's end, I'll always be, my father's son, my father's son.

 

Their sons started the song but soon little Kolenka and Tisha, who were not so little any longer, came out on the stage with their uncles. The four men sang for their father and grandfather.

Sasha and Vadya were following their parents in a separate vehicle. The two men were planning out something to do for Aiah’s birthday in a few months. It was rare that they got time that was just the two of them.

In the back of the limo Aiah was smiling. “Happy Birthday my Volodya.”

Picking up her hand, he kissed the back of it. “Thank you my sweet. We have had 42 years together Kitten and I love you more and more each day. I never knew life could be like this.”

“What do you mean like this Vova?”

He paused for a moment to think of a way to explain. “I’m unsure of how I can explain it to you. Most of my life was about fear. Usually about not being enough or having enough. When I was sent to Dresden instead of Berlin. I felt myself to be inferior. All of my life was centered on fear. And then a certain English minx steps into my life and turned everything upside down.”

He threaded his fingers into her hair so that his thumb could brush across Aiah’s full lips. The smile he gave when she whimpered with such need was one of pleasure. Even now, she wanted him. At almost 100 years old, his Kitten still ached for his touch.

“You showed me a different way to love. The list of why I am grateful to my beloved wife would cover our country twice over. Kitten, you always gave yourself to me happily and freely. You didn’t just tell me you loved me. You showed me. There will never be a man as lucky as I am.”

“There is nothing that brings me greater pleasure than making sure you are happy and content. I love you my Volodya.”

 

Tenderly, Aiah kissed her husband. She let the desire between them slowly build and then pulled it back with a kiss that was almost chaste. Several times she did that before kissing him with a fiery passion that she always felt for him. 

As the boys arrived right behind their car, upon walking through the door father and son were greeted by the rest of the family. Aiah had arranged everything, of course. From their own children to their great-grandchildren, everyone gathered to wish Sasha and Vladimir a happy birthday.

It would be the last time that their family was all together. Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin passed away on 27 October 2049.

His funeral had been a large State affair, of course. People from all over the world attended the funeral. Aiah, in her grief, noticed little of the pomp and circumstance. The parade of people that expressed their sympathies seemed endless and she would hardly remember a single one.

For Aiah, the loss of her beloved husband shattered her entire world.

For 42 years they had loved each other. When Aiah returned to the residence after she had been shot, they rarely spent a night apart from each other. She had spent a couple of nights in the hospital from the gas explosion accident and then when their 2nd child was born. Other than that, they were always with one another.

A February morning, nearly four months later, Aiah was standing by the window drinking coffee while watching the snow fall. She could almost see Buffy and Yume playing in the snow with Vladimir. Even though Yume was a gift to her husband, the dog favored her.

She had broken her arm in an accident years ago. Aiah would stand outside throwing the balls to the dogs. It was a way to strengthen her arm when the cast came off. Those four dogs had died years ago and she felt an ache as the past welled up around her.

Still, they always had dogs in the house. Chiasa was the great-granddaughter of Aiah’s beloved Yume. The Akita Inu was ever watchful of Aiah, just as Yume had been. A Sulimov that had not taken perfectly to its training was going to be put down and when Aiah heard of it, she put a stop to the senseless murder of an animal. Having lived her life as a vegetarian, she couldn’t permit a dog to be put down without reason.

Vladimir had rolled his eyes at his wife when she brought the dog home. It was he who fell in love with the Sulimov and the feeling was mutual. Buka was smart, almost eerily so. Just as Chiasa was Aiah’s, Buka was Vladimir’s.

The youngest members of the canine household were male sibling Siberian Huskies. They had been a gift to Aiah five years ago. They were large for their breed and looked very much like their wolf ancestors. Nearly identical, Lada and Lapa had red and white coats. She had gone head to head with several politicians in regards to getting schools that had been destroyed rebuilt to modern standards.

The way the falling snow glistened it reminded Aiah of their small outdoor wedding. It had been perfect. It was even better when they went outside to dance alone under the stars just the two of them. She smiled at the memory.

 

How could a very liberal twenty year old woman fall in love with a dictator that was 35 years older than she? That question had been asked of her so many times. The answer was simple. She didn’t fall in love with a dictator, she fell in love with the man.

Their political ideas were completely different but it rarely caused friction. They learned from each other. They respected each other. But most importantly, they loved each other.  The rare times that they did fight, those fights were measured on the Richter scale. Thankfully, those times were few and far between.

Aiah didn’t feel like she was in her sixties. In her mind’s eye she was still that 32 year old woman that was hopelessly in love. The only thing that made her feel old was the realization of death. Everything she loved was dying.

Walking back to the kitchen for more coffee, all four of the dogs were escorting her. Since Vladimir died it was rare that Aiah was without at least one of the dogs.</p>

“Dr. Putina?”

“Yes Lev?”

“I was going to take the dogs out if it was alright with you.” Lev was the caretaker and trainer.

“Of course.”

Watching the dogs run outside with their trainer made her smile. After getting more coffee, Aiah was once again caught by the snowfall and her thoughts. She remembered taking her sons sledding for the first time. The snowball fights with the boys and their father.  

“Mum?”

“Yes sweetheart?”

“What are you staring at?”

“Memories.” Aiah smiled and turned to her son. “Sleep well Sasha?”

“Yes. Thank you. What memories?”

“The silly things your father would do. The biggest tree out by the stables?” Your father had this pen knife that he had gotten when he graduated from university. I’m very pregnant with your brother and your father drags me out there to that tree. He carved our initials into it like a schoolboy. Then when you were born he added your initials as well.”

“You still miss Papa.”

“Of course. I wasn’t even permitted to have a drink in the US when your father and I met.” Aiah smiled. “I spent almost my entire adult life with him. I will always miss your Papa.”

“I miss him too, Mum.”

“I know Sasha.” She hugged her youngest son. “He loved you and your brother fiercely. He was so proud of you two.”

 

Vadim came into the kitchen moments later. He was scratching his chest and looking for coffee. 

“Good morning to you too Vadya.” Aiah smiled.

Yawning, he shook his head. “Sorry Mum. It was a late night. I was supposed to be out before midnight but that didn’t happen.” Vadya was a surgeon.

Looking to Sasha and then over to Vadya, Aiah couldn’t help but smile. She was so proud of them. They were both over 1.8 meters tall, like their grandfather Tobias. They even looked like him. Except their eyes. They had the beautiful blue-grey eyes like their father.

Vadya had more of his father’s temperament. He could be considered stand-offish or cold some of the time. Although, it was more of an appearance than his actual temperament. Like his father, Vadya was tenderhearted.

Sasha was like his mother. He was the sort of man that was at his happiest when he could give back to those he loved. He was the philosopher. Sasha’s world was one of hope and love. In many ways he had a tougher shell than his tenderhearted brother.  

“I’m glad you both are here. Thank you.”

“It’s your birthday Mum. Why wouldn’t we be here?” Sasha gave his mother a baffled look.

“I cannot appreciate the fact my children actually remember my birthday?” She teased.

While Aiah was in her 60s, she still looked like a woman twenty years younger. There was a wing of stark silvery-white hair by her temple now but the rest remained the dark espresso color. Green eyes were just as quick and lively as ever but there was a touch of sadness there. Her heart would never heal from the loss of her Volodya.

Still, she was the same as she always had been – joyous. Vadya was a surgeon now and Sasha was a musician. Tisha and Kolenka, her grandsons, were academics like their mothers. Tisha had given Aiah her first two great- grandchildren a couple of years ago. Twin girls that were named for her and Lyudmila.

Reflecting back, Aiah smiled. She had led a life filled with love and affection. On 7 October 2052 Aiah Giselle Peregrine Corrington Putina went to sleep and didn’t wake up. A country mourned for their once First Lady and all that she had done.

At her funeral, her two sons spoke.

“Our parents were our role models for everything in life but especially in love. There was no greater love than what was between our mother and father. Two people that should never have found love in each other somehow did. It seems fitting that are dear Mama would return to our Papa on the day that would have been his 100th birthday.  We have no doubt that their love wasn’t just for a single lifetime. A love like theirs lasts forever.”