The Russian stuffed another bite of venison into his mouth, letting the juice drip down his goatee. His dark brown hair was plastered back against his skull, and prolific eyebrows curled upward toward the hotel's chandeliers. The jowls beneath his jaw shook when he talked, and his girth made the chair beneath him disappear. He grinned, sticking his chin out and poking his fork at Kline.
"Yoo Americans always want someting beegger and bedder. The trooble is, yoo're becoming more Socialist than our old USSR. What will happen to yoor GDP then, eh? Yoo will join the European Union within the decade."
"I'm not American."
That drew a loud guffaw from the arms dealer. "Yoo're as American as...apple pie!" He laughed again at his own joke. Finally wiping his chin, he grunted, "And yoo assume that Roostam can help yoo, eh?"
Rustam Egorov, an arms dealer out of Moscow in the year 2019, spoke about himself in the third person, apparently to insinuate that Rustam was someone other than the glutton stuffing food into his face. Kline knew better, and he knew that any assumptions he made about Rustam were true. He had historical documents on his side as proof.
"I have a high degree of confidence."
Rustam snickered. "Not everyone has what yoo're asking for. Dat is a very unique, high-doollar item, not so easily purchased."
"Name the price."
"Again, yoo assume I have it."
Kline leaned across the table, his jaw set and his eyes hard. "Name the price."
Pausing, the Russian glared back for a long while before leaning over the table. His words were slow and menacing, "I don't know how yoo got my name. But, if yoo think the CIA is going to get deir hands on a device like dat...then yoo have been meestaken, comrade."
Kline hesitated, and then burst out laughing. He leaned back, still chuckling, and dabbed his lips with his napkin. Rustam frowned, fuming. Kline reveled in the moment a few more moments before placing both elbows squarely on the table. The smile never left his lips.
"I am no more CIA than you are supermodel," said Kline. He glanced at the bodyguards located at either side of the table, and then he glared back at the Russian. "I am, however, interested in purchasing two multi-stage nuclear devices that you have in your possession. Spider nukes." Several seconds passed. "Name your price, comrade."
The arms dealer shifted uncomfortably in the chair, and for a split second his eyes darted to the bodyguard seated at the table to their left. Rustam tapped his ring on his wine glass. The bodyguard to their left stood, straightened his coat, and took a step toward Kline. Both bodyguards approached to hover over Kline.
Rustam put his napkin down and crossed his arms on the table. "For the last time...I don't have any nookes, spider or odderwise. Perhaps yoo should dooble-check your facts. I tink it best for you to be on yoor way."
Marcus paused before pushing his chair back, standing and then adjusting his coat. He lifted his heavy jacket and gloves from the chair and slung them over his forearm.