Because three (!) people asked for it, here it is: another chapter of my amazing Vladimir Putin fan fiction.

If you don’t know what I’m talking about, here’s Chapter 1. If you’ve read that and still don’t know what I’m talking about, then there’s nothing more I can do to help you. Best to cut your losses and move on.

Putin standing next to a Lada Kalina

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Chapter 2: Putin the Pedal to the Medal

You are perched in the passenger seat of a canary yellow Lada Kalina, speeding down the M4 highway so fast it feels as if you are flying. Every muscle in your body is tense and alert, but no matter how much you try, you can’t seem to make yourself relax. That’s because, sitting only an arm’s reach away, is Russian president Vladimir Putin.

You try to look contemplative as you gaze out the window at the featureless Russian countryside. But there is only one thing—one person—on your mind. Every now and then, you work up the nerve to steal a glance at him.

He looks tense, too. His jaw is clenched, and he is gripping the steering wheel so tightly that his knuckles are white. He has said almost nothing since you left Moscow, and the dark expression on his face makes your words get caught in your throat.

You figured that you and Putin would have plenty of time get to know each other during the 17-hour drive to his palatial Black Sea vacation home, but so far you have barely said three words to each other. The car is silent, except for the sputtering of the engine and the cassette tape of Putin singing bebop that’s playing softly in the background.

You take a deep breath and finally summon the courage to say something.

“I can’t believe we’ve run over three bears!” you say. “We’re barely outside of Moscow.”

“I would have gotten that fourth one, too, if you hadn’t distracted me with your loud breathing.” Putin answers sharply.

You’re trying to think of how to respond when you notice something in the road up ahead. It’s a line of concrete barriers formed into a roadblock. As you approach, you can see a dozen armed men behind it. And not only do they have arms, they are using their arms to carry weapons.

Putin slams on the brakes, throwing his arm across your body to stop you from flying into the dashboard. You know that you are in danger (it’s all of those men with arms that tipped you off), but all you can think about is Putin’s forearm pressing against your rib cage.

“Wait here,” he murmurs. He opens the car door with force, knocking down one of the approaching gunmen in the process, and quickly taking out another with a well-aimed karate kick. Two more men leap at him, and you lose sight of Putin as he is dragged into a brawl.

You crouch down in your seat to stay out of sight. You can’t see what’s happening—which is for the best, because you are terrible at narrating action sequences. You do hear lots of fighting sounds and the occasional “Hi-yah!”

When the sound of sirens blaring drowns out the fighting noises, relief floods through your body. You look up to see a swarm of black Volgas pulling up and FSB agents running onto the scene. You also notice that Putin already seems to have the situation under control, having singlehandedly subdued most of the gunmen as well as one large reindeer, although it is unclear whether the reindeer was one of the insurgents or if it just happened to be passing by.

As your attackers are taken into custody, Putin returns to the car. Other than a slight limp, he appears unharmed, but his expression is even darker than before.

“You saved my life!” you cry, as soon Putin has settled into the driver’s seat. All of your shyness is gone—you feel giddy with relief and gratitude.

“Don’t,” he says quietly. He takes a long, deep sigh and puts the car in drive. “As long as you are involved with me, your life will be in danger. Whether it’s rebels, or my political enemies, or reindeer, you will never be safe as long as you are at my side. Selfishly I wanted to conceal this from you, but I realize now that you deserve to know the truth. You deserve to know what you are getting yourself into.”

“Huh?” you say. You hadn’t been listening because you were checking Facebook on your phone.

“When I first saw you in the mailroom all those months ago,” he continues, “You looked so beautiful, trying to weigh yourself on the postal scale.”

“I’ve lost three pounds since I moved here! Russian food is disgusting.”

“I promised myself that I would stay away from you. But I just…couldn’t. I am the strongest man in the world in every respect, except for one.” He turns and gives you a long look.

“Um, I think you need to keep your eyes on the road…” you say nervously as the car swerves into a pasture.

Putin reluctantly turns away from you and steers back onto the freeway.

“So…what now?” you ask.

Putin smiles slowly. “Now,” he says, “we have earned a vacation.”

Continue to Chapter 3