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Cruel Saints: Chapter 15


A torturous minute passes without Elena saying anything, and needing a drink, I get up. I walk to the side table and pour us each a tumbler of bourbon.

When I sit down again, I hold the glass out to her. “It’s better than water. It will help.”

Elena sets the water down on the coffee table and takes the tumbler from me. She sniffs at the drink before taking a sip, and then her face lights up with heat. “God, what is this?”

“Bourbon.” I settle back into the couch, and savoring the whiskey, I wait to see if she’s going to talk.

I watch as her mind drifts off. She takes another sip, and then her shoulders hunch as if she’s trying to make herself smaller.

“Promise you’ll kill him.” Her tone has changed. It’s hollow, all the warmth gone.

My muscles tighten, and the words flow easily from my lips. “I promise.”

The same expression she had on her face when we met flutters across her features as if she’s tearing a secret from her soul.

My heart begins to beat faster, and then her lips part. There’s no emotion in her voice as she says, “Dante killed a friend of mine. The only friend I ever had.”

It’s not what I expected to hear from her, but I sit still and listen.

“I used to sneak out of the house to meet Alfonso in the stables. Dante caught us together.” She pauses to take another sip, and it reminds me of my own drink.

As I bring the tumbler to my lips, Elena says, “Alfonso was held at gunpoint while Dante forced me… to go down on him.” She takes a moment to breathe, a sickening look on her face. “He killed Alfonso anyway.”

I lower the drink, not sure I heard right. I stare at Elena until the words sink in like burning coals.

The motherfucker.

My breathing begins to speed up as rage floods my veins, and unable to sit still, I get up. I down half my drink as I walk toward the windows before turning back to Elena.

She hasn’t moved a muscle, but her glass is empty.

I down the rest of my bourbon, then walk back to her. Taking the tumbler from her hand, I go to refill the glasses.

With my back to Elena, I force the question over my lips, and it comes out sounding harsher than I meant. “Did Capone rape you?”

I pick up the tumblers, and only when I hold the drink out to her does she shake her head as she takes it from me. “No. I was so happy to go to St. Monarch’s because I knew it was only a matter of time before he did.”

Taking a seat again, I slump back against the couch. I begin to twirl the glass between my fingers. “Was that the only time?” I ask, even though I know the answer already.

Slowly, I turn my head, and then I watch as Elena shakes her head. “No, it wasn’t.”

Christ almighty.

It explains everything. I now understand why Elena is so skittish.

My little bird doesn’t have broken wings. They’ve been ripped off.

“I was seventeen,” she whispers, her voice sounding lost. “The past four years have been hell, and I just want to get away from it all.”




“That fucking motherfucker.” I try to focus on my breaths, but instead, images begin to flash through my mind.

Elena on her knees in front of Dante.

A roar rips from my chest, and I get up again. “Fuck.” I begin to pace up and down, trying to get rid of the sudden burst of energy brought on by the rage. “Fuck,” I mutter again, unable to say anything else.

I knew it was bad. I fucking knew it.


I come to a stop and close my eyes.

It’s the same as rape.

Four fucking years.

My hands begin to shake, and I quickly down the drink, hoping it will calm me down. I set the empty tumbler down on the coffee table before I throw it.

All I want to do is kill Dante. Right fucking now.

My eyes fly to Elena, and unable to think of anything else to say, I breathe, “Fuck, I’m so sorry.”

My stomach churns at the thought of what she’s been subjected to.

That fucking depraved bastard.

Her gaze lifts to mine, and the pain I see in them slices right through me. “You’ll kill him?”

Murder echoes in my voice as I promise, “I will.”

Elena nods and sets her empty glass down on the coffee table. She surprises me by letting out a chuckle. “Good, because even after everything he’s done to me, I’m not sure I can do it.” She shakes her head, and there’s no amusement as she lets out another empty chuckle. “It’s either him or me.”

“It will never be you.”

She gets up, and then she meets my gaze. Questions flutter over her face. “It makes me just as bad as you, right? I was shocked when you killed those men, but here I am asking you to kill one more.”

“We’re not bad if we kill bad people. We’re doing the world a favor by getting rid of the scum.”

Elena nods, appearing to be deep in thought. “We’re all bad in someone’s eyes.”

“Not you,” I argue, convinced to my very core she’s the purest of us all.

Elena shakes her head, and then she begins to walk toward the stairs. “To Alfonso, I’m the villain. I should have left him alone, then he’d still be alive.”

I watch her go up the stairs, and then I stare blankly at the spot I last saw her. My thoughts are filled with everything I’ve learned.

Images of her horror flash through me, only increasing my anger until my body shudders, begging for release.

Turning around, I walk to the gym, and leaving the light off, I head straight for the punching bag. With a roar, I slam my fist into the bag, and as it begins to sway, I picture Dante’s face.

I’m going to kill him.

I’m going to fucking kill him.

I keep punching the bag until my hands start to ache, and taking a step back, my breaths explode over my lips as I focus on the pain.





I didn’t sleep at all. I sat on the bed, surrounded by regrets and shame.

I’ve been alternating between wanting to bash my head against the wall for telling Lucian what Dante did to me and thinking I did the right thing.

I’ll probably have to go home, and if Lucian can get rid of Dante, then at least I won’t have the monster waiting for me. Whether I marry Dante or not, if he’s alive, he’ll rape me. I just know it.

For the hundredth time, I think about Lucian’s reaction. He seemed genuinely upset. I could feel his anger vibrating off him.

It just adds to the confusion. I don’t think I’ll ever understand him. On one side, he’s a ruthless killer, and on the other, he seems to care about me. It feels like I’ve been given a puzzle that’s missing half the pieces.

A knock at my door has my head snapping up. I scramble off the bed and go to open it. I’m surprised to see Aunt Ursula.

“It’s time for breakfast. Come join me on the veranda,” she says, and then she walks away.

I step out of the room, and shutting the door behind me, I follow after Aunt Ursula.

Crap, I should’ve changed out of Lucian’s shirt. I pull an awkward face as we walk through the house and then out two massive sliding doors that have been pushed open. Stepping out onto the veranda, my lips part as I take in the backyard.

The lawn is perfectly manicured and in total contrast with the black mansion. I realize why Lucian also gravitated to the secret garden.

There’s a huge fountain in the middle of the yard, easily the size of a swimming pool. Different levels of water shoot into the sky only to gracefully fall back to the pool.

Trees are scattered around the property, offering plenty of shade, and flower beds provide a rainbow of colors. In the distance, I can see the ocean.

“Beautiful, isn’t it?” Aunt Ursula asks.

“Yes,” I breathe, still awestruck.

“Morning,” I hear Lucian say behind us, and when I spin around, he’s taking a seat at the table where three plates are waiting.

He’s dressed in an immaculate suit again, and for a moment, it feels as if last night was just a dream.

Maybe it was.

Then he glances at me, and the anger etched on his face assures me it was definitely not a dream.

“Let’s eat,” Aunt Ursula says.

I take a seat at the table and look down at the bowl of muesli, fruits, and yogurt. Picking up a spoon, I scoop some up and take the bite even though I’m not hungry.

We eat in silence, and then Aunt Ursula asks, “How did you sleep, cara?”

I lift my eyes to her and force a smile around my lips. “Good, thank you.”

I feel Lucian’s gaze on me and focus on my breakfast.

A moment later, he says, “I have a meeting this morning.”

“Here?” Aunt Ursula asks.

“Yes. When I’m done, will you come with me to the morgue?”

I swallow hard on the bite I just took.

“Of course,” she answers, sorrow shimmering in the two words.

The rest of the meal proceeds in uncomfortable silence, and when we’re finally done, I excuse myself from the table.

When I start to walk away, Lucian says, “You need to attend the meeting. It’s at nine.”

I stop, and glancing over my shoulder, I nod. “I’ll be ready.” I hurry to my room, and not knowing what to wear, I dig through all my clothes. It takes me twenty minutes to decide on black pants and a blouse.

It will match the house.

The thought makes my lips curve up as I change into the clothes. I take extra care with my makeup and style my hair in a loose French braid. Slipping on a pair of high heels, I walk to the full-length mirror in the bathroom.

I take in my appearance, and satisfied, I leave the room. I have no idea what to expect, and when I walk down the stairs, and the living room comes into view, my eyes widen at all the men gathered there for the meeting.

I recognize Alexei, Demitri, and Carson but none of the others. As my gaze sweeps over everyone, it stops when I spot Lucian. He turns, and the moment he sees me, the grim expression fades from his face, and then his lips part.

It’s only for a moment, then he walks toward me. When he holds out his hand to me, I take the last couple of steps and rest my palm against his.

He leans into me, murmuring, “You look beautiful.”

“Thanks,” I whisper. “Who are all these men?”


Franco comes toward us and informs Lucian, “Mr. Lucas just arrived.”

My head snaps up. “My father’s here?”

“Yes,” Lucian mutters, and then he pulls me away from the stairs. I stand next to Lucian, not knowing what to expect.

The moment my father walks into the living room with Dante right behind him, it feels like my chest is going to close up.

Lucian pulls a gun from behind his back, where it was hidden beneath his jacket, and trains the barrel on Dante.

My heart instantly begins to race, and I hold my breath.

“What the fuck do you think you’re doing?” my father demands.

“Killing this piece of shit,” Lucian growls low.

My father steps in front of Dante, leveling a dark glare on Lucian. “Then it will be war between us. Are you sure that’s how you want to start your reign as head of the Mafia?”

The air slowly leaves my lungs as Lucian lowers the gun. Instead of killing Dante like he said he would, he barks, “Capone, get out of my house.”


I yank my hand from his and lift it to my racing heart.


Dante immediately leaves. Then my father smiles. “Good choice.”

Lucian stares at my father, then he says, “I spared his life for a reason.”

“Name it.”

“A marriage between Elena and me.”

Oh. My. God.

Betrayal begins to swirl around me like a dark mass, and I manage to take a step away from Lucian.

“An alliance between our families?” my father asks.

“Yes. We need to show a united front if we’re going to win this war,” Lucian answers.

They’re talking as if it’s everyday business… instead of my future.

My eyes lift to Lucian’s face, and my hand moves up to cover my mouth as another wave of betrayal crashes over me.

This was Lucian’s plan all along?

My father holds his hand out to Lucian, and then they shake on it… on an arranged marriage. On my life.

My father lets out a fake chuckle. “When will the big day take place?”

Lucian matches my father’s chuckle with his own. “Is a week too soon?”

When they turn to me, all I can do is shake my head.

This is not happening.

“Congratulations on your engagement,” my father says, his gaze resting hard on me.

My distress grows when Lucian takes a box from his pocket, and then he removes a similar ring to the one on his right hand. It’s just smaller, a black oval stone set in gold.

Taking hold of my left hand, he slips it onto my ring finger, and then he leans in and presses a kiss to my cheek. “Trust me. This is the only way.”

Trust him?


I trusted him last night. I believed him when he said he’d kill Dante.

Yanking my hand out of his, I glare at him as he pulls back. “I’ll never trust you,” I bite the words out, and then I walk toward the sliding doors, and I don’t stop until I’ve passed the fountain and most of the trees. Instead of a wall, there’s a cliff at the end of the property. The ocean spreads out into the distance.


I just got engaged to Lucian Cotroni.

I close my eyes, and the wind picks up, playing with the loose strands of hair framing my face.

I’ve been passed from one monster to another.


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