Cruel Saints: Chapter 2


The Past – 20 Years Old.

I can feel Dante’s cruel stare on me where I’m standing out on my balcony. The raindrops pelt my skin, chilling me to the bone.

I gaze through the curtain of rain at the grounds. The last time I left the house was when Alfonso and Gino were killed, and Dante forced himself on me for the first time.

The days following the horrendous incident, I was like a zombie. A prisoner in my own mind, plagued by the horrors that occurred.

It annoyed Dante, and when he beat me for it, the hatred and rage I felt during the incident flared to life. It was the first time I tried to fight back against him. I didn’t win. Of course not. Dante’s twice my size and much stronger. But it never stopped me from trying to defend myself.

It’s been four years, and my nightmares keep growing. I thought my life was suffocating before the horrific incident, but compared to now, it was nothing. I was almost happy before it happened. Now, I’m a prisoner of perpetual torture and guilt, with the threat of being raped by Dante hanging over my head.

Even though I’m freezing, I stay out on the balcony as long as I can. It’s the closest I get to outside. My days are now spent between the library and my room. I no longer get to walk between the manicured flower beds.

Whenever I try to leave the house, I’m rewarded with a beating from Dante. Every time he’s done painting my skin with bruises, I promise myself to try harder to escape the house. It’s weird. It’s as if Dante torturing me is fueling me instead of breaking me. In turn, Dante seems to thrive on it when I try to fight back. It’s like we’re stuck in a destructive tango that will only lead to one thing – one of us dying. And unless I learn how to fight, it will probably be me.

It’s only been Dante the past three years. I haven’t had tutors since I finished school, and honestly, I miss the reprieve they offered. The staff and other guards have been instructed to ignore my existence, and they’re too afraid to do otherwise.

I see my father occasionally when he’s home from attending to business. I use the word ‘see’ lightly because even though Father is in the villa, it changes nothing for me. He allows Dante to do what he wants with me.

My father lives only for his business. I know he deals in the illegal trade for arms, but nothing more. I’m not trusted to know more.

Sometimes I wonder who’s the bigger monster between them – Dante, for abusing me, or my father for allowing it?

“Your father is home,” Dante mutters. “Dry yourself.”

Taking a deep breath, I lift my chin and clench my jaw as I step back inside my room.

My personal suite is lavish, containing everything I might need. It has a private living room, a bedroom, and an ensuite bathroom, but to me, it’s nothing more than a gilded cage. No amount of luxury can hide the horrors these walls have seen.

I shoot Dante a dark glare of my own as I walk to my bedroom. I shut the door behind me and grab clean clothes from the closet, which I place on my bed. Reaching for my soaked shirt, I freeze when the door to my room opens with a bang against the wall.

Dante leans against the doorjamb, and crossing his arms over his chest, he sneers at me, “Faster, Principessa.”

He now watches me when I bathe, dress, sleep – never giving me a moment alone. The threat of rape is always there. I know it’s only a matter of time, and it makes dread imprint itself on my bones.

I’d rather die.

When that day comes, I swear I’ll take my life.

I’d rather kill myself than let Dante have his sadistic way with me.

Hopelessness swirls in my chest, and I clench my jaw at the devastating feelings of despair, panic, disgust, and fear. They’ve become my constant companions.

I spend every moment I’m alone dreaming up ways to escape Dante, but even if I run to the ends of the earth, he’ll find me.

I think he’s addicted to the power he has over me. The fear he inflicts. 

I pull my wet shirt off and quickly drag on a cashmere sweater while Dante taunts, “Soon, I’ll fuck your tits and come all over your face.”

I do my best to ignore the threat, but it’s impossible. It makes fear coat my skin as it drags up the horrible memories of all the times Dante has crossed the line over the past four years. The now-familiar shame and repulsion once again rock me to my very core, and I have to fight hard to keep control of the devastating emotions.

With trembling hands, I switch out of my clammy jeans, moving fast to get the dry ones on. After slipping on a pair of heels, I walk to the bathroom and towel dry my hair before pinning it up in a bun.

When I step into the bedroom again, Dante darts forward, and grabbing hold of my arm, he yanks me through my private living room.

Repulsed by his touch, I rear back against his hold. “I can walk on my own!”

Dante stops to slap me across the cheek, and it has me yanking hard against his bruising grip on my arm. My defiance earns me a punch, this time harder, and it stuns me for a moment as I fall against the wall. Dante’s fingers bite harder into my flesh, and I’m dragged down the hallway and stairs.

“Keep fighting, Principessa. It only makes me hard for your cunt,” Dante threatens, and then I’m shoved into my father’s study.

I come to a stumbling standstill in front of the large oak desk. I almost lift a hand to my aching cheek and bruised lip but catch myself in time. Not wanting to give Dante the satisfaction of knowing he hurt me, I fist my hands at my sides and level a scalding glare on my father’s bowed head where he’s glancing over a document.

My father lets out a sigh then lifts his eyes for a moment. He hardly takes notice of me before continuing to read the information.

How can a father care so little for his daughter? I’m his blood, yet he cares more for Dante and the business. I should be used to the sting of rejection, but it still hurts knowing I mean nothing more than the very chair he’s sitting on.

“I’m going to send you to St. Monarch’s once you turn twenty-one.”


My lips part on a silent gasp, and then my breathing speeds up as a glimmer of hope bursts through my grim existence. Father once told me St. Monarch’s is the only neutral ground for crime families. Various services are offered there. Anything from training to sharpen your trade of choice to a resort that provides you with elite protection. There are also auction nights where anything illegal can be bought and sold.

I’ll be surrounded by my father’s enemies, but it doesn’t scare me. Not when Dante is the enemy I fear the most.

“You’re to learn whatever they can teach you so you can help take over the business when you marry Dante.” Father’s eyes snap up to mine, and he pins me with an unforgiving glare as his words shudder through me. “It should be an easy task. Don’t disappoint me.”

Marry Dante?

God. No. No. No.

My mouth dries with the impending death sentence because that’s what it is. I will hang myself before vowing myself to Dante.

Knowing it would be stupid to argue, I bite my tongue to keep the words of protest from escaping.

“Lucian Cotroni is currently a guest at St. Monarch’s. Beware of him. His father is the head of the Mafia. You say nothing to him. Do you hear me?” Father pins me with dark warning creasing his brows. “The Cotronis will not hesitate to kill in order to take our business. You avoid Lucian Cotroni at all costs. Understand?”

I quickly nod. Not that I know anything I could tell the Cotronis. Dante and my father never share anything business-related with me.

“I’m only sending you there to learn something of worth, and so you’re out of the way. We have a new problem to deal with, and I need Dante by my side.”

Which means he won’t be with me.

I quickly nod again.

“Leave,” Father barks, and then Dante grabs hold of my arm, yanking me out of the study.

I’m dragged back to my suite and shoved inside. Dante presses his body against my back, and a repulsed shiver races over my skin as his breath skims over my ear. “It’s only a matter of time before you belong to me.”

He shoves me hard, and the force has me stumbling into the back of my couch. I hear Dante leave, and then he locks the door, so I can’t escape.

For a long moment, I stand still, processing what just happened.

I get to go to St. Monarch’s. I’ll be free of the villa. Even if it’s just for a short while.

My hope begins to blossom, making the blood rush through my veins.

I don’t know much of what happens at St. Monarch’s, but I do know Dante won’t be there.

God, I won’t have Dante watching and following me. He won’t be there to force himself on me or to beat me.

My lips begin to curve higher in a hopeful smile, and I press my hand to my excited heart.

I’m turning twenty-one next week. Only six days, and I’ll be rid of Dante, even if just for a short while.

I’ll finally taste freedom.


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