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Elaina linked her arm in mine as we wove through the crowd of people, looking for Nico and his brother.

“Ms. Harrington and Ms. Iverson.” I turned around and saw Nico smiling at us, his soft, luscious hair framing his face. His brother was standing next to him, and I immediately noticed how similar yet opposite they were from each other. “This is my brother, Hugo Stepanov.” Hugo put his hand to my lips and kissed it, then did the same to Elaina’s.

“It’s a pleasure to meet you both.”

The brothers were wearing button-down shirts that tucked into their jeans, which revealed both of their chiseled, muscular chests. Hugo seemed a bit more refined and mature, whereas Nico had a boyish charm that I found adorable.

They walked us towards the back of the bar, and over to a half-booth where we could sit closer to one another. Elaina pulled a chair up to the other side of the table. Usually, I would have sat next to her, but I felt a magnetic pull to Nico as he slid into the booth. I had assumed that Hugo would have sat next to Elaina, but I didn’t say anything as he sat on the other side of me.

Hugo leaned into my left ear and said, “Is this alright?” I nodded while staring into his steel-grey eyes and tried not to get lost.

“You look lovely tonight.” I turned around and met Nicos’ stare, which were also a steel-grey. My knees suddenly felt weak as my heart began racing.

“Thank you for inviting us out,” Elaina said, aware of the sexual tension between the three of us.

“You’re quite welcome, Ms. Iverson.” Elaina waved her hand in the air.

“Please call me Elaina,” she said.

Not wanting to come off as a bitch, I followed that up with, “And you can call me Michelle. Outside of business hours, at least.”

Hugo brushed a lock of blonde hair that had fallen into my face. “Of course, Michelle. I wouldn’t want to disrespect you or your company.”

Our eyes locked for a full minute, and it wasn’t until a waitress asked for our drink order that I brought myself back to reality.

“In America,” Nico said, “I understand that it’s frowned upon to spend time with business clients outside of work, right?”

I shrugged my shoulders. “Well, not necessarily. Too much isn’t encouraged, but you still have to wine and dine some of them if you want their business. To be honest, I don’t make it a habit of drinking with clients.”

Hugo leaned into my ear and said, “So what made you decide to come out with us tonight?”

I looked at him, fighting every urge to lean in and kiss him. “I’ve heard things are different in Russia.”

“Yes,” Elaina said while eyeing up the brothers. “Things are very different here in Russia.”

As the brothers told us more about their company, I scanned the room and realized that virtually every woman was eyeing us with envy. It became crystal clear that the Stepanov brothers were a hot commodity.

“One day, Nico and I will be the heirs to our father’s company.”

I turned to Nico and smiled, then looked back at Hugo.

“Two handsome men running a company?” I regretted the words as soon as they came out of my mouth, but all I could do was continue to drink my vodka tonic and smile. I had never felt so free.

“Michelle!” I shrugged my shoulders and giggled at Elaina.

“So, you two seem pretty close.”

I nodded at Hugo.

“We grew up together,” Elaina said. “We even went to the same college, and after graduation, she begged me to shield her from her overshadowing father.” I threw a straw wrapper at her, but Elaina just smiled as she sipped on her drink.

“I’ve heard that your father has quite the iron fist,” Nico said.

“That would be an understatement. Then again, Affinity Finance is quite successful, so I guess it’s all worth it.”

We spent the next hour or so flirting with each other, talking about business, and the cultural differences between our countries. I wasn’t worried about my father judging me for flirting with clients, either. It was like I was becoming the woman that my mother would have wanted me to grow, mature, and independent of my father.

I told the brothers a bit more than I should about our company, but they seemed to be trustworthy. Plus, they knew better than to upset the daughter of Chase Harrington.