Cruel Saints: Chapter 10

ELENA

I’ve been doing my best to avoid Lucian for the past three days.

Even though I’m free to move around the castle and grounds, I’ve been hiding in my suite. I haven’t even gone downstairs for my training sessions and meals, but instead, I order room service.

Which means I’ve had nothing but time to think. About everything.

Lucian.

My feelings.

Dante.

The impending wedding and death sentence.

Eleven days. That’s all I have.

It’s nothing. Just eleven days, and I’ll either have to find a way to kill Dante, or I’ll cross over to the afterlife.

Staring out of the window, my heart longs to feel the warmth of the sun on my skin.

Every night I wait until midnight before I sneak out of my suite to visit the secret garden. So far, I’ve been lucky, and I haven’t run into anyone but the guards.

I’m not free. Not even at St. Monarch’s.

It’s better than being locked up in the Villa with Dante.

But I’m still not free.

A knock at my door draws me out of my thoughts, and I turn away from the window to receive the order I’ve placed for lunch. Not having much of an appetite, I got myself a platter of cheese, cold meats, and olives.

I unlock the door and open it, but instead of finding a server, I’m met with Lucian, a severe expression darkening his features.

I begin to shut the door, but his hand shoots out, slamming hard against the wood.

“What –?” Before I can say another word, Lucian grabs hold of my arm and pulls me out of the room. He reaches past me and closes the door. “What are you doing?” I demand to know, my heart starting to beat faster.

Lucian’s hand clamps around mine, and then I’m tugged down the hallway. “I’m fucking done with you hiding,” he mutters. I try to pull free from his grip on me, but it only has him tightening his fingers around mine as he threatens, “I swear to God I will throw you over my shoulder if you make a scene.”

I follow him down the stairs, having to almost jog to keep up with his wider strides.

“Where are you taking me?” I ask while I search for a guard.

“Outside.” It’s the only explanation I’m offered.

“I’ll scream for help,” I warn Lucian, not sure if it will even help. Will they dare go against his wishes?

“Go ahead,” Lucian says, his voice filled with confidence. “They’ll only interfere once I’ve killed you.”

“Once?” The word bursts from me as fear slithers through me. “So you can do anything to me, and they won’t stop you?” My breaths begin to speed up. “God.” I yank back against Lucian’s hold. “Let go!” I stop walking, trying to twist my hand out of his.

“Christ Almighty!” he snaps, and then he turns to me. Lucian grabs hold of my sides, and the next moment I’m thrown over his shoulder as if I weigh nothing. I let out a startled shriek which he ignores as he begins to walk again, stepping through the side doors.

I start to slam my fists against his back. “Put me down! You can’t do this.”

A slap to my bottom makes my eyes widen, and a gasp explodes from me. Stunned, I hang over Lucian’s shoulder as he carries me away from the castle. When we reach the secret garden, I’m tugged down the front of his body until my feet meet the ground. I stumble, but then Lucian catches my shoulders.

With my breaths exploding over my lips and my hair hanging in my face, I glare at Lucian. “What the hell do you think you’re doing?”

“It was clear this was the only way to get your attention,” he says, his features even darker than when I opened the door.

“My attention? For what?” I take a step backward, but my calves bump against the marble edging around the fountain.

“This,” he snaps, and then he moves forward, and the meager space I’ve managed to put between us vanishes with one stride from him. His right hand shoots up, clasping the back of my head, and before I can even realize what’s happening, Lucian’s mouth crashes down on mine.

I freeze, stunned out of my mind.

He enters my mouth without any effort, and then velvet brushes over my tongue.

My shock turns to confusion turns to feeling overwhelmed in a matter of a second.

A roar ripples from Lucian, and I somehow manage to lift my hands to his solid chest. I want to push against him, to sever the kiss, but my hands won’t listen.

Lucian’s left hand finds my cheek, and then he forces my head to tilt to where he wants me as he deepens the kiss. It becomes hungry as he seems to lose control, and soon I’m struggling to breathe past the assault on my mouth.

A whimper escapes me, and I’m not sure why I made the sound.

I don’t want this.

Yet, I do nothing to fight him off.

It’s just another thing taken from me.

But still, I can’t deny the fluttering in my abdomen and the quickening of my heartbeat. And it’s not because I fear him. It’s because it’s the best kiss I’ve ever had.

Lucian’s lips knead mine, his tongue stroking hard, his teeth tugging, demanding, claiming.

God, it’s… forceful… intoxicating… earthshattering.

Where I could never mentally escape from Dante’s assaults, I find my mind easily clouding over. It feels as if I’m being absorbed by Lucian. His power engulfs me. His manliness drugs me. His mouth demands that I focus only on how he’s making me feel.

Where I only felt disgusted with Dante, it’s the total opposite with Lucian. Not even Alfonso made me feel so… hypnotized.

Every single fiber of my being is focused on Lucian. My blood rushes through my veins, and before I know it, I’m kissing him back. I give in, not even trying to put up a fight.

I taste the mint on his tongue. I feel his warm breaths on my skin. His arms wrap around me so tightly it feels like he’ll never let go.

God. God. God.

What is this?

My body melts against his, and my hands move up to his neck, my fingers trying to memorize the feel of his skin. My breasts push against his firm chest as my tongue savors his.

Another whimper escapes me, but it sounds different to my ears. There’s no panic in it. Only need.

As quickly as Lucian invaded my mouth, he lets go of me, and within another second, I’m filled with the loss of his kiss and body as he puts a safe distance between us.

My eyes flutter open, and my hands drop limply to my sides.

I’m met with smoldering eyes, his chest rising and falling from the deep breaths he’s sucking in. He lifts a hand to his jaw, and then his thumb swipes over his bottom lip.

And then reality sets back in, and my heart plummets to the ground from where it was soaring the heavens.

I thought I’ve felt fear before. I was wrong. I begin to tremble uncontrollably, and the warmth flees my body, filling me with ice.

Not because Lucian can physically hurt me, but because he can do the one thing Dante never could – Lucian can kill my soul. He can rob me of my dreams. He can make me a prisoner, and I fear I won’t want to escape him.

 


 

LUCIAN

 

Mother of God.

I’ve been slowly losing my mind the past three days. My thoughts were consumed with Elena. My eyes constantly searched for her. But Elena hid from me, never leaving her suite.

Knowing I was running out of time, I knew there was only one way for me to be sure. So I yanked her out of her room, and like a fucking caveman, I carried her to the garden she loves so much.

And then I fucking kissed her.

I thought it would help me be done with her. I thought it would be the same as kissing any other inexperienced girl – unexciting and tasteless – and I’d finally get over my obsession with her.

But I was wrong. Christ was I wrong.

My hopes were smothered, and my concerns were met face to face with the most powerful emotions I’ve ever felt. Unrelenting need. Potent desire. Above all, my possessiveness increased tenfold.

I want Elena. More than anything I’ve ever wanted. She tasted like heaven. She felt perfect in my arms. When she whimpered, it made me instantly hard. It took more self-control than I thought I possessed to break the kiss because I was a second away from fucking her right here next to the fountain.

I can still taste her sweetness on my tongue, and it makes me lick my lips, searching for any hint of her left on them.

I drink in the sight of her rosy cheeks, the excitement from the kiss we shared staining her skin. Her breasts swell under her v-neck t-shirt with every breath she takes.

She looks like the goddess of sex until the blood drains from her face. Panic tightens her features, and then her eyes fill with fear. Her trembling hands catch my eye, and her gasps begin to come faster until I worry whether she’s about to hyperventilate.

Honestly, I’m a little surprised by Elena’s reaction. She kissed me back. She fucking melted in my arms. But still, she looks at me with horror. As if I fucking attacked her.

I take a step toward her, but her hands fly up in warning. “Don’t!” Even her voice is strained with panic. She sucks in a frantic breath. “Don’t ever touch me again.”

Elena darts away, and I almost go after her, but the horror I saw on her face keeps me rooted to the spot.

Not now, Lucian. Give her time.

I let out a sigh and walk to one of the benches. I unbutton my jacket and sit down, my gaze settling on the fountain.

What the fuck do I do now? I got my answer, and in the process, I traumatized Elena.

I should’ve been more patient.

Fuck that. I waited three days for her to come out of her suite. That alone took more patience than I had.

Narrowing my eyes, I turn them toward the castle.

Maybe it’s not me? It could be that the kiss brought up bad memories for her. If that’s the case, it means Dante did more than just hit her.

God won’t be able to help him if that’s the case. I’ll fucking rip his head off.

My phone begins to ring, and pulling it out of my pocket, I frown when I see Alexei Koslov’s name flashing on the screen.

Thinking he can’t get a hold of my father, I answer, “Lucian.”

“It’s Alexei,” he says, his voice filled with the darkness I’ve grown accustomed to hearing.

“I know,” I mutter. “Why are you calling?”

“It’s your father. He’s been killed.” The words are abrupt, straight to the fucking point, but still, they don’t sink in.

“What?” I begin to get up but sit down again when there’s no strength in my legs.

“Your father’s been assassinated.” There’s a moment’s pause, then the Russian says, “I’ll find out who it was. First, we need to get you to safety.”

Papà… No. No. No.

Stupidly I ask, “Are you sure?”

“I’m looking at his body right now. Bullet to the head. You’re a fucking sitting duck at St. Monarch’s. Carson is coming to get you. Go to Madame Keller’s office and wait there for him. Demitri and I are leaving Italy now. We’ll meet you at a safe house.”

“Alexei,” I breathe, still not able to process what he’s telling me.

“Lucian!” he snaps. “Go now. We’re on our way.”

Somehow I manage to get up, and I listen to Alexei tell Demitri, his personal guard, “Let’s go.”

I walk toward the side door, then Alexei shouts, “I don’t hear you fucking running, Lucian.”

And then it sinks in. My body darts forward, and just as I take the steps two at a time, the mosaic widow to my left shatters.

Fuck.

I move faster and slip inside just in time as another bullet shatters the glass door.

“They’re here!” I snap into the phone. “They’re fucking here.”

I keep running down the hallway, and instead of going for the safety Madame Keller’s office will offer, I turn right into the foyer and dart up the stairs.

I run down the hallway and then slam a fist against Elena’s door. When she doesn’t open, I begin to pound against the wood. “Open, Elena. You’re in danger!”

Seconds later, she opens. I grab hold of her hand and begin to run again, yanking her behind me.

“Lucian!”

Ignoring Elena, I speak into the phone. “How far away is Carson?”

Carson is Alexei’s younger brother, so I know I can trust him. The Koslov’s won’t turn on me. They have honor which means they’ll die protecting me. They’re the most important allies my father ever made, and right now, my life depends on them.

“Twenty minutes,” Alexei answers.

I drag Elena down the stairs, and as we turn left in the foyer, gunfire erupts out by the front gate. Guards rush past us as I turn down the hallway that leads to Madame Keller’s office.

One of the guards stops when he sees us and shouts, “Faster, Mr. Cotroni.”

We’re escorted the rest of the way and ushered into the office that’s more secure than any other place on this goddamn planet.

Madame Keller takes hold of my free arm, her face filled with compassion. “I’m so sorry for your loss, Mr. Cotroni.”

My father is dead.

The thought rocks me to my core, and I let Madame Keller pull me to a sofa as her guards usher the other guests inside. The door is closed and then locked.

I sit down, still gripping Elena’s hand tightly. Slowly I turn my eyes to her pale face, and I can only manage to breathe as the realization robs me of all rationality.

My father is dead.

“Lucian?” Elena asks as she scoots closer to me. Her fingers stir in my hold, not to free her hand but to get a better grip on me. “What’s happening?”

“They’re here,” I manage to say, my voice void of any emotion. “Fuck, they’re here.”

“Who’s here?” She glances around the room and then at Madame Keller.

“Mr. Cotroni’s father was just assassinated. I assume they’re here for Lucian,” Madame Keller explains.  

Elena’s eyes widen as her head snaps back to me. “Oh, God. I’m so sorry.”

“They killed my father.” The words drift over my lips, lost with disbelief. A relentless ache tears through my chest.

My mind begins to race, looking for answers to questions I haven’t even thought of yet. My heart hammers against my ribs, trying to get away from the ruthless sorrow filling every inch of me.

“They fucking killed my father,” I rasp.

I glance around the room at the other guests, some my allies and others my enemies, which makes me rein in the grief. A switch flips inside me, and it shoves the raw sorrow down to the darkest part of me. In its place, rage burns through me like wildfire. Letting go of Elena’s hand, I get up and bring the phone back to my ear. “You still there?”

“Blyad,” and then Alexei roars, “you better be in Madame Keller’s office! I swear I’ll fucking beat the shit out of you once I get my hands on you.”

“I’m in her office. I’m safe.” Or rather, as safe as I’ll ever be.

Alexei lets out a breath of relief. “Carson’s close. Just sit tight.”

I walk to the furthest side of the office and mutter, “Is it Cabello?” I need to know who I’ll be hunting. “Is he behind this?”

“I’m not sure. All signs lead to him, but I think he’s working for someone.”

“Who?” I demand.

“A fucking ghost. The person has covered all their tracks.”

Fuck!

Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Options

not work with dark mode
Reset