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200 Steps Down


200 STEPS DOWN.
CHAPTER 1. MONDAY
OCTOBER 5, 20:30.
If N icolae Caramarin was nervous, he didn't show it. Not when he was holding
six tits he wasn't. And two nine spots in his hand. Drank from the vodka bottle and
slid it back over. Opposite him, Nedelcho Videnov took a longer pull. Videnov
glanced at his bodyguard standing just behind the players. The guard was leaning
against the office wall with his hands in his pockets, next to a hastily wiped
whiteboard.
Caramarin took a longer look at the woman in the corner. She was worth
another look. Tied to a chair with a piece of duct tape gagging her is not the best look
for any woman. As an image, it will never make the front cover of Vogue magazine.
But you could see that she was beautiful.
"Your boss is branching out, then?" Videnov said. Money always interested
the accountant. He liked being around it and if he could cut himself into a slice of any
deal then he wanted his piece.
There was a disreputable air about the man. O nly young, late twenties, but
already balding. Pale blue eyes behind gold framed designer glasses. His silk tie was
loosened and rode half way down his chest. He'd chosen his short cut to wealth by
advising on tax evasion and money laundering fo r the underworld.
"Yeah," grunted Caramarin.
"Hear he got stiffed by the Georgian. Lost a lot of money?"
"Abkhazian, actually, comrade. But he's dealing with the matter," Caramarin
said.
"Bit of a step up from money lending and protection to people trafficking?"
Videnov took another pull from the bottle and slid it back again. The man's eyes
glassy now.
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