We are taking book requests on our companion website. You can request books here. Make sure, you are following the rules.

Cruel Saints: Chapter 5


The Present – Elena; 21. Lucian; 24.

Seated at my usual table for dinner, my eyes lock onto the raven-haired beauty as she walks into the dining room. She’s wearing the same dress she had on earlier this afternoon, which is a surprise. Usually, guests make an extra effort when they’re meeting with Madame Keller.

The woman is of average height, but that’s where average ends when it comes to her. Her skin is snow-white, giving me the impression she’s delicate and can easily be bruised. Her toned legs are shapely, an eye-catcher for sure.

My gaze follows the curve of her hips and breasts before locking onto her face again. For a third time today, something unknown stirs in my chest.

I’m used to women throwing themselves at my feet, but this woman has avoided me twice already. Earlier, in the armory, she practically ran from the sight of me. She now has my attention whether she wants it or not.

With my family being the head of the Mafia, we know everyone. Still, I’ve never seen this woman before, which makes her that much more intriguing.

I watch as she’s greeted by Madame Keller, the architect of St. Monarch’s. They talk for a moment, and then Madame Keller turns, and they head in my direction.

Well, the mystery of who this woman is will be solved soon enough.

As they near my table, I rise to my feet.

“Mr. Cotroni,” Madame Keller says, her voice laced with respect for the title and power I hold. “We have a new guest.” Madame Keller glances at the woman, then introduces her, “Elena Lucas. If I’m not mistaken, your families have business ties with each other.”

“Lucas?” I ask, shocked to hear the name linked to the woman. My eyes narrow on her as I wonder why we weren’t aware of her existence. Surprises are never a good thing in our world. Especially when it comes to Valentino Lucas. Things have been strained between our families for as long as I can remember.

Finally, Elena meets my gaze, and then fear tightens her features.

She definitely knows who I am.

Tilting my head slightly, I say, “I wasn’t aware Tino had a daughter.”

Elena doesn’t offer me an explanation for the secrecy surrounding her. Instead, she lowers her eyes to the table as she softly says, “Mr. Cotroni, it’s an honor making your acquaintance.”

“Lucian,” I offer.

“May we join you for dinner?” Madame Keller asks.

With my gaze still locked on the mysterious Elena Lucas, I reply, “Of course.”

I take my seat again and watch as the two women sit down. Elena’s spine is straight with tension, her eyes trained in front of her, obviously avoiding looking at me. It only makes me more guarded. My father taught me to be extra vigilant around anyone who can’t make eye contact. It means they’re definitely hiding something.

“Did Tino keep you a secret for a reason?” I ask, wanting to know the story behind her sudden appearance. My father also taught me to question everything and to trust no one.

“No,” Elena murmurs, her voice soft and feminine.

A frown begins to form on my forehead, and my eyes snap to Madame Keller, who quickly explains, “Valentino kept Elena in isolation for her own protection.”

“Where?” I ask as my gaze returns to Elena. “I’ve been to the villa and never saw you.”

Why the fuck would Valentino Lucas hide his only heir from us?

“My father doesn’t involve me in his business, which is why I was surprised he sent me here,” Elena says, and then relief flutters over her features as a waiter interrupts us.

I wait for the ladies to place their orders before giving my own to the waiter. “Bourbon, neat. Filet, medium.”

When the waiter leaves, Madame Keller’s mouth tips up at the corners. Even though she’s in her seventies, she still carries remnants of her beauty. “Elena is here to learn the trade. She’s late in joining, so I hope you’ll take her under your wing.”

The corner of my mouth curves up as I let out a chuckle. “You know it’s everyone for themselves in our world.”

Madame Keller matches my chuckle with her own. “You have business ties. Her gain is your gain, is it not?”

“Right now it is.” My gaze snaps back to Elena, who’s still refusing to look at me. “Tomorrow, it might be a different story altogether,” I mutter.

“I have no intention of attending the training sessions my father had scheduled for me,” Elena finally speaks up. Her gaze darts to mine. “I won’t take over from my father.”

My eyebrow raises, and my eyes sharpen on her. “Why not? Is there another heir I’m not aware of?”

Elena shakes her head. “I’m an only child. I just have no interest in being a part of the Mafia.”

With every word leaving her mouth, the mystery surrounding her deepens. I’ve never met anyone like her. Women born into the Mafia are raised as princesses. They’re challenging and demanding. They hold their father’s hearts in the palm of their hands, and because of that, they expect their future husbands to treat them like queens. They’re outspoken and born socialites. From what I’ve seen so far, Elena is nothing like them. She’s almost… skittish.

“Does your father know this?” I ask.

A server brings our drinks, and I take a sip of my bourbon as I wait for her answer.

Elena only shakes her head.

“Why are you here?” I ask.

Her eyes dart to mine, and before she can glance away, I capture them with my own. Her lips part, but when she doesn’t answer me, I drop my voice low with warning, “Elena, why are you here?”

If it’s to keep me occupied, so my attention won’t be on the family business, Tino’s made a big mistake. One he’ll pay for with his life.

Fear dances in Elena’s light brown irises, and then she lets out a slow breath. “I’m here for myself.”

Nothing she says adds up, and it has me leaning a little forward. I take hold of the tumbler and twirl it slowly before my eyes snap back to hers. “Careful, Elena. I don’t like secrets. If it’s your family’s intention to make a play for the head of the Mafia, then I suggest you rethink it.”

Elena swallows hard, and then she rises to her feet. She gives Madame Keller an apologetic look. “Please excuse me.”

Suspicion slithers down my spine as Elena walks away from the table but then she stops. I watch her shoulders rise as she takes a deep breath before she turns around and walks back to me. Suddenly her steps are sure as she lifts her chin. Her eyes lock with mine, and when she reaches the table, she says, “I have no idea what my father plans to do. I’m not here for you or anyone else. All I want is to be left alone. I just want to enjoy my time at St. Monarch’s.”

Rising to my feet, I close the distance between us. I stop mere inches from Elena, and instantly her eyes drop to my tie. She hardly reaches my shoulder, and it makes a different kind of power bubble to life in my veins.

I begin to lean down, and a soft scent drifts from Elena, making my mouth water. Attraction zaps between us, but then it’s overshadowed by the fear coming off her in waves. It stirs the predator in me. She’d be so easy to capture, to dominate.

I allow my lips to touch her earlobe as I whisper, “Don’t fuck with me. No one comes to St. Monarch’s without an ulterior motive. If you think you can win me over with your beauty, you’re wrong.”

The air tenses between us as Elena lifts her chin higher. Even though she’s scared shitless of me, she’s still trying to stand her ground. I feel her breath fan over my jaw, and it’s enough to make my body come alive.

Christ, this woman is dangerous. She’s the kind men give their hearts and souls for.

Elena’s words are clipped, “I’m. Not. Here. For. You.” Another burst of sweet air is expelled from her lungs. “I have no interest in you or any other man. Especially one who’s the head of the Mafia.”

I pull back a little so I can capture her eyes. “Why are you here?” I ask one last time.

Elena’s features tighten, and it looks like she’s tearing a secret from her soul as she admits, “Freedom.” Her shoulders sag a little as she takes a step away from me. When she turns and begins to walk toward the exit, she whispers, “I’m here for my freedom.”

What the hell does that mean?

Is she trying to escape her father?

My gut tells me something is off about this situation, and it demands me to dig deeper until I find the answers.

My eyes snap to Madame Keller. “Tell me everything.”

Madame Keller indicates for me to take my seat, and once I’m sitting again, she explains, “My little birdies tell me, Elena is to marry Dante Capone. He acts as her personal guard and Valentino’s right-hand man.”

Jesus, that alone explains a lot.

I hate the fucker.

My muscles tense as I grind the words out, “I know who he is.”

Dante is old enough to be Elena’s father. A violent man who takes joy in killing. Even someone as hard as me pities Elena if that’s truly her fate.

“The birdies say she wasn’t kept hidden for her safety,” Madame Keller continues. Our eyes meet as she whispers, “She was held captive. Everyone who has met Dante Capone knows he’s a depraved man. If you ask me, he doesn’t have a soul.” Madame Keller stops herself from saying more as she takes a sip of her wine.

Mother of Christ.

I’ve done my fair share of killing, but I certainly don’t have a taste for holding someone captive. Especially a woman. Dante is sadistic, and the knowledge only makes new questions rear their ugly head.

What has Elena endured?

As Madame Keller sets the glass down, she murmurs, “I don’t think Miss Lucas is here to spy on you.”

Still, it doesn’t make sense.

“Then why did her father send her here? If she was held captive, why would they let her go now?”

Madame Keller takes a deep breath as she reaches for her wine again. “There’s underground chatter of a new threat. My source hasn’t confirmed it, though.”

“To the Mafia?” I ask as I pull my phone from my pocket so I can call my father.

“Yes,” Madame Keller whispers darkly.

A server brings our meals, and while Madame Keller instructs him to take Elena’s food to her suite, I get up and leave the dining room so I’ll have privacy to make the call. I press dial on my father’s number.

“Son,” he answers almost immediately.

“I have news,” I murmur softly, not wanting my voice to carry. “Tino has a daughter. Elena Lucas is at St. Monarch’s. I don’t know what their plan is. Madame Keller also informed me of a new threat, but I have no details yet.”

“It was brought to my attention. I was just waiting for more information before calling you,” Father tells me. “It’s not Valentino. Someone stole Valentino’s and our inbound shipments. It’s an attack on the Mafia, not just one family.”

“Christ,” I mutter. “I should join you.”

“No, stay at St. Monarch’s. We can’t be together until we know what we’re dealing with.”

I let out a breath, then ask, “And Elena?”

“Tino sent her there to keep her safe while we deal with the threat. Right now, they’re our allies.”

“So you knew about her?” I ask.

“She’s nothing to worry about,” My father explains.

I nod. “Keep me up to date if you learn anything more about the threat.”

“I will. While you’re there, see if the Bratva or Cartels have any information for us,” Father instructs.

“Will do.”

“Keep your head low and your guard up,” he warns me.

“Don’t worry about me,” I try to reassure him.

“Impossible,” he grumbles, and it draws a chuckle from me.

We end the call, and I return to the table. Meeting Madame Keller’s gaze, I say, “Let me know the instant you learn anything new.”

“For a price, of course,” she replies, the corner of her mouth lifting.

“Of course,” I mutter. Information is valuable in our world, and I don’t expect her to give it away for free.

Lowering my eyes to my meal, my thoughts are inundated with the looming threat and Elena’s surprise arrival.

One thing’s for sure, life just got interesting.


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.


not work with dark mode