Cruel Saints: Chapter 26


Waking up, I stretch my tender body against Lucian, where I’m lying half over him.

His arm tightens around my shoulders, and he presses a kiss to my disheveled hair. The sheets are rumpled around us as the memories of last night come to me.

The way Lucian loved me… God, I didn’t even know it was possible to experience such pleasure, to feel so much, to get lost in another person the way I got lost in him.

I cried, breaking in the safety of his arms, and he took all of my demons.

He wiped the cruelty and depravity from my life.

He released me from the shackles of my past.

Then he taught me how to love with all my heart. He showed me how to pleasure him in every way but one.

Lucian refused that I go down on him. Even when I told him I’m okay with it.

It was not negotiable.

Now that my mind is clear of desire and pleasure, I realize Lucian knows me better than I know myself. It would’ve tainted our night because I don’t think it’s something I’ll be able to do without being reminded of the past.

Suddenly Lucian flips me onto my back, and he presses a kiss to my neck. “Stay in bed and get more sleep. I need to go to work.”

Lifting my hand to his jaw, I brush my fingers over the bristles. “Be careful.”

“I will.” He gives me a chaste kiss then gets up. I turn onto my side, tucking my hands beneath my head as I watch my husband walk to the bathroom and as he gets dressed.

“I like it better when you’re naked,” I say, a teasing tone to my voice.

He chuckles and comes to give me another kiss, then he trails his nose down my neck and to my breasts. His lips tug at my nipple, making my desire increase, but then he gets up and walks to the door. “I’m going to be hard the whole fucking day,” he mutters as he opens the door. “Ti amo.”

“Ti amo,” I say, a happy smile on my face.

When Lucian shuts the door behind him, I stretch out again and then roll over to his side of the bed. I bury my face in his pillow, taking a deep breath of his scent.

My husband.

Thinking how Lucian just walked into my life and took what he wanted makes me feel giddy, and I let out a soft chuckle.

God, I’m so in love with him. My stomach is constantly fluttering with butterflies. My heart melts.

And he chose me.

Out of all the women he could’ve picked, he chose me.

I’m so lucky.

So happy.

Taking another breath of his scent, I get up and walk to the bathroom. I open the faucets and pour some bubble bath into the tub.

While the water runs, I brush my teeth and hair, tying the strands back into a bun so they won’t get wet.

With happiness hovering around my lips, I close the faucets and sink into the balmy water. While I soak my tender body, I remember how passionately Lucian made love to me. His hands on my skin. His mouth kissing every inch of me. How his body moved against mine while he filled me.

And his eyes.

God, his eyes.

They were dark as night, dominant and intense.

Ugh, why did he have to work today?

I finish my morning routine, and once I’m dressed in a brand new pair of jeans and a baby-yellow silk blouse, I slip on my high heels and go look for Aunt Ursula.

Finding her out on the veranda, I pour myself a cup of coffee and go sit by her.

“Did you sleep well?” I ask before taking a sip of my beverage.

“Yes, cara, and you?”

I didn’t sleep much but answer, “Very well.” Setting my cup down on the table, I stare out over the backyard.

“You look beautiful in the new outfit,” she compliments me. “We should finish our shopping from yesterday.”

My lips curve up. “Yes, I’ve taken all my old clothes out and placed them in bags. I thought we can drop them off at a shelter.”

“That’s a good idea. We’ll leave as soon as you’re done with your coffee.” Aunt Ursula gets up to take her empty cup into the house, then I hear her say, “We’re going shopping, Leo. Bring the car around to the front.”

I finish my coffee and go rinse the cup out, then I go get my phone from where it was charging in the living room. I notice a message from Lucian and open it.

Lucian: Do you feel me between your legs?

A smile splits over my face.

Me: Yes, and everywhere else.

He types his reply instantly.

Lucian: Good, because I can still feel you wrapped around my cock. 


My body flushes with desire.

Me: I can’t wait for tonight.

Lucian: You better be naked in bed when I get home.

Me: What about dinner?

Lucian: I’m only hungry for your pussy.

Oh. My. God.

I let out a giggle, my cheeks heating from his words. Wanting to tease him as well, I type out a reply I never thought I’d type in my life.

Me: I’m aching to have you fill me with your cock.

My eyes widen at the message, and before I can change my mind, I press send.

Lucian: Christ, now I’m walking around hard as fuck.

Me: Good, because my panties are soaked. We’re even.

Lucian: You’re killing me.

“Are you ready?” Aunt Ursula asks.

“Yes.” I type out a last message.

Me: I’m going shopping with Aunt Ursula. I love you. Be safe.

Lucian: Love you most.

I tuck the phone in my handbag then walk out of the house with Aunt Ursula.

“Let’s start at that little boutique we were going to go to next,” Aunt Ursula says as we climb into the back of the other G Wagon.

Leo gets into the passenger side with Marcello behind the steering wheel. The rest of the guards fill the car behind us as Marcello steers us off the property.

“Okay,” I smile at her. “These jeans are really comfy. I’d like to get another pair.”

“And they sit well on you,” she compliments me.

“You have a good eye. You picked them.”

She lets out a chuckle. “Years of practice.”



I’m changing out of a red cocktail dress into my own clothes when my phone begins to ring.

Slipping my foot into the one high heel, I dig the device out of my bag, and seeing my father’s number, I frown.

What does he want?

I press answer. “Yes?”

“Elena,” a woman’s voice comes over the line. “It’s Eva… your mother.”

Stunned, I quickly place my hand against the wall to keep my balance as my legs go numb. Goosebumps spread over my skin.


“Mamma?” I ask, not sure I heard right.

Is this real?

“If you really have to call me that,” she says, her voice biting.

My heart begins to race, and my mind spins into chaos.

Oh my God.

She’s alive?

My mother’s alive!

A cold sweat spreads over my body as the shock hits full-on, ripping the air from my lungs.

“I thought you were dead,” I manage to whisper, not even sure if this is real or a dream.

“I was.” She takes a deep breath. “I have Lucian. Come to your father’s villa, and I’ll let you say your goodbyes before he dies.”

Her words pour over me like acid, eating away the blissful happiness. It feels like my mind short circuits, not able to make sense of what I’m hearing. Unable to think of an appropriate reaction.

A strangled sound escapes me. “Don’t. Please,” I repeat the words I’ve said so many times before when I was faced with the horrors of life.

“You have fifteen minutes. Come alone, or you won’t even get a goodbye.”

The world spins around me as the call ends, and I stand frozen, my breaths rushing over my lips, not able to form a coherent thought.





Keep calm, Elena. You need to save him.

Somehow I think to slip on the other shoe and gather my handbag.

Deep breaths.


Focus, Elena. Lucian needs you. You can deal with the shock later. Right now, you need to focus on what has to be done.

Leo and Aunt Ursula can’t know.

A sob ripples over my lips, but I swallow the shock and fear back. I take another deep breath, lifting my chin and forcing a smile around my lips.

Taking hold of the red cocktail dress, I close my eyes.

You can do this.

You have to.

For Lucian.

I open the door and stepping out, my voice is filled with false excitement. “Oh gosh, I love it. Can you pay while I run to the restroom? My bladder’s going to burst.”

I shove the dress in Aunt Ursula’s hands, and she chuckles at me as I turn to the attendant that’s been helping us. “Where’s the restroom?”

“Just through that door, to the left,” she smiles at me.

I glance at Leo, where he’s standing near the store’s entrance, as I run to the restroom. I shut the door behind me and lock it, then turn to the gold stained glass window.

Panicking, I can’t find a way to open it, and picking up a trashcan, I smash it through the glass. Knowing someone probably heard the noise, I hurry through the opening, slicing my arm open. I cover the cut and run down the alley toward the street.

My heart hammers against my ribs, my breaths bursting desperately over my lips as I pray one prayer after the other for Lucian’s safety.

God, my mother’s alive.

She’s here.

As the shock keeps hitting me in waves, I dart away from the store, praying Leo doesn’t see me. The high heels make it hard to run, and I stop to quickly take them off.

“Mrs. Cotroni!” I hear Leo shout somewhere behind me.

Just then, I spot a taxi and rush toward it.

Jumping into the back, I give the driver my father’s address. “Quick! Hurry!”

As he pulls away, I watch Leo run toward the car, his face torn with worry.

I’m sorry, Leo.

I lean back against the seat, and closing my eyes, I start to pray. I don’t know what I’m going to do when I get to my father’s villa.

How is this happening?

She’s alive?

God, she has Lucian!

Can I even reason with her?

Why is she doing this?

“Faster,” I say when it feels like the driver is taking his time. “It’s urgent.”

It feels like time crawls, and when the taxi finally pulls up to the villa, I pay the fee and climb out. I don’t even think to put on my shoes as I rush to the gate. My heart beats in my throat as it opens, and then a man dressed in a black combat uniform steps in front of me.

He grabs hold of my arm, and without a word, he drags me up the driveway to the front door of the mansion I had hoped to never enter again.

I have no idea what to expect.

My mother’s here, inside the house.

Lucian. God, Lucian.

My emotions toss inside me like wild waves.

Everywhere I look, bodies lay scattered, and I recognize none of the men standing guard.

So much blood.

So much death.

My phone begins to ring, and it has the man yanking my handbag away from me. With my heart thundering in my chest, I’m taken to my father’s study and shoved inside the room.

My phone rings again, and the first thing I see is my father, tied to a chair, his face beaten and his shirt bloody.

Then I see an older version of me, and the sight of the mother who I thought was dead shocks me to my core.

She’s really alive.

I can’t help but feel hurt that she left me behind. I have so many questions filling me, but then I realize there’s no sight of Lucian.

“Where’s my husband?” I ask, not caring about what she does to my father or me.

Her lips curve up as her eyes glide over me, and then she points a gun at me. “I see you got your father’s intelligence. I doubted whether you’d fall for the lie, but I had to try. Lucian Cotroni’s not an easy man to kill, and using you as bait was the only hand left for me to play.”

He’s not here.

Lucian’s safe.

Oh, thank God.

In a trance where fear wars with relief, I begin to shake my head, not understanding. “Why?” I manage to ask through the shock, still dulling my senses.

She gestures with the barrel of the gun at a chair, and then the guard shoves me toward it.

Refusing to take a seat, I meet her gaze again. “Why are you doing this?”

Again my phone rings, and then it really sinks in.

Lucian’s not here.

It was a trap.

I realize how stupid I was. I just reacted out of fear without thinking of calling Lucian.

Elena… what have you done?

Slowly I turn my head to the guard holding my handbag.

Lucian’s probably trying to get a hold of me.

“Why am I doing this?” she lets out a bark of laughter, then she slams the gun against my father’s head. “Tell your daughter why I’m doing this.”

“Fuck you,” my father spits. “Kill me, you fucking bitch.”

Hard until the end. My father still refuses to bow or show emotion.

A heavy hand lands on my shoulder, and I’m shoved down on the chair. I glare up at the guard, and as he raises his hand against me, my mother says, “No, Zeus. Don’t hit her. Bring me the bag.”

Confusion spills into my heart because she stopped one of her men from hurting me.

Does it mean she cares?

Maybe I can reason with her after all?

Maybe she won’t kill me, and she’ll spare Lucian because I love him?

I watch as he hands her my bag, and then she digs my phone out. “Lucian seems to really care about you. Let’s hope it’s enough to make him come here.”



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