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God of Fury – Chapter 12

BRANDON

“Imissed you so much,” Clara’s soft voice whispers in my ear as she trails kisses on my neck and jaw.

We’re standing in the middle of my room as she moans softly. My hand rests around her waist just so I can force her in place when she tries to kiss my mouth.

It’s illogical and makes no bloody sense, but I haven’t kissed her or allowed her to kiss me since that damn night I lost all control a week ago.

And earlier today.

My eyes close in remembrance of his lips, his hard body, and the way he kissed me.

I shove all that chaos out of my mind.

It didn’t happen.

It’s nothing.

If I think that long enough, maybe this whole thing will blow over and I’ll go back to my safe little bubble.

Clara doesn’t mind the subtle rejection. I don’t think she cares. It’s why I keep her close. She’s fine with the relationship staying shallow. She never probes, never asks any stupid questions. And she certainly doesn’t ask what happened to my bandaged hand every day like a certain twat who refuses to give up.

Since I couldn’t avoid her any longer, I invited her over to my room after dinner at a posh restaurant. Instead of eating, I spent most of the time taking her pictures and pretending I wasn’t bored out of my fucking mind.

I tried dropping her off at the dorms and leaving, but she wasn’t having it tonight and insisted that I had to see her lingerie.

I did. It’s pretty, I guess. A one-piece transparent red lace thing that showcases her nipples and has an opening to her pussy. The tight, strappy material clings to her skin, complementing her curvy figure.

But I’d still rather we didn’t have to do this. For me, sex has always been a constant state of mundane release. I could do without it, and I did for months, but it could have been forever, to be honest, which is why Clara went to find it elsewhere. Unlike what Lan and the others think, I don’t mind. My only problem is the secrecy. I told her we could be in an open relationship, and she became mental, demanding monogamy she can’t keep up with.

She can shag whoever she likes, but tonight, she’s decided that’s going to be me.

“You smell so good, babe.”

I try to stay in the moment, I really do, but now that she’s called me that, I can’t help imagining different, crueler lips trailing kisses on my neck.

Hers are soft, his were fucking wild.

Focus.

She skips the plaster I slapped on the second hickey he gave me in the same fucking place. Like a savage. Only, now, I don’t only have a mark on my Adam’s apple. They’re also all over my chest—dark red and purple, as if I’ve been bruised.

Considering what Nikolai did in that corner earlier today, I might as well be.

Clara’s fingers grip my T-shirt, trying to take it off, but I pull it back down, kissing her throat and refusing to get stuck in my head again.

I breathe her flowery perfume and try not to gag. I’ve never liked the smell.

That’s because you prefer something more masculine. The memory of bergamot and mint floods my nose and I tighten my muscles.

No.

She moans and I hate how soft it sounds. She grinds against me and I loathe how tender she feels.

Her breasts rub and slide against my chest, but all I can think about are hard muscles.

You’re hard for me, not her.

The sound of his voice in my head causes a twitch in my dormant dick.

Fuck.

Fuck.

Fuck!

I pull away from Clara with a shove, my mind swimming in disturbing chaos.

She doesn’t take the hint and saunters toward me again with bright eyes, her blonde hair swishing against her lower back.

I take another step back and hold up a hand. “I’m just not in the mood, Clara. I’m sorry. I think it’s exhaustion from the game.”

Her smile is forced at best as she reaches for my belt. “I can help you get rid of all that tension, sexy.”

“No. I’m good. Thanks for offering.” I grab her dress that she stripped off teasingly earlier and hand it over. “I’m sorry again.”

Her shoulders hunch, but she takes the dress and starts to put it on. “We haven’t shagged since we got back together, Bran. Is something wrong?”

Everything is fucking wrong.

But I don’t say that and smile instead. “Just a lot to think about. I’ll be fine after some time.”

“Okaaay,” she drawls out the word. “Love you, babe.”

She waits for a beat, but when I don’t say it back, she turns to leave.

“Clara.”

She spins on her heel, a hopeful smile on her face. I should probably break up with her. This time for good. It’s not right to lead her on when I feel absolutely nothing for her.

Ever since I was in secondary school, whenever a girl has asked me out, I’ve said yes, knowing they just wanted me to take them home so they could meet Lan.

I didn’t mind. Because I had a girlfriend at all times, even if she was giving Lan fuck-me eyes. He never did—fuck them, I mean. But he always forwarded me screenshots of them sending him nudes and begging him to do obscene things to them.

I never responded. Just broke up with them over text and deleted whatever Lan sent me.

It didn’t matter. They were all part of an image. I never stayed with one more than a couple of weeks.

I met Clara in uni, and she made it her mission to ensure we’d bump into each other by ‘coincidence’ in the places I frequent. I recognized her tactics from a mile away, but, again, I didn’t mind. The reason I’ve stayed with her the longest is because, for the first time, someone came straight to me instead of Lan.

In fact, she doesn’t seem to like him. Probably because he often treats her like an insignificant insect.

So I kept her. She doesn’t get her nose in my business as long as I take her to high-end restaurants, buy her luxurious brands, and pose for pictures.

We broke up whenever she cheated, which happened four times that I know of, but then she said she was sorry and that she wouldn’t do it again and I forgave her.

I technically cheated on her, too, so let’s call it even.

Lan is wrong. She never hurt me. I’d have to have feelings to be hurt, and I don’t do those.

She was just a convenience and now, she’s not.

“We should take a break,” I say casually.

Her face falls and she nearly drops her precious Chanel bag. “But why? I didn’t do anything.”

“It’s not you. It’s me. I cheated on you.” But even as I say that, it doesn’t feel right. Being with her just now felt like I was cheating on him. Not the other way around.

I need to stab a fucking shard of glass in my neck this time.

Clara’s lips part and she frowns. “Wow, okay. That’s shitty.”

“I’m sorry.” I don’t mean a fucking word, but I say it anyway. Because that’s what’s expected. I’m nothing short of extremely considerate and spectacularly polite.

Except for when it comes to a certain wanker.

She closes the distance between us and grabs my hand in hers, nude fake nails scraping against my skin. “It’s okay. We’ve been through this before, babe. It hurts that you went to someone else, but I can forgive you like you forgave me all those times.”

I push away her hand and step back. “I don’t need your forgiveness.”

“Do you like her that much? I can do a threesome if that’s what you want.”

Desperate is exceptionally annoying.

My tone is detached as I shake my head. “We’re breaking up, Clara.”

“You can’t do this shit to me!” She stomps her foot on the floor. “I’m not breaking up with you. This isn’t how it works.”

“This is exactly how it works. Please leave.” I push her toward the door and open it.

She stands in the hallway and screams, “No! I refuse this.”

“We’re done.”

She storms back inside, but she’s pulled out again by a handful of her hair and tossed aside like a sack of potatoes.

My brother glares down his nose at her. “You heard him. He said you’re done, so take the hint and escort your cheap presence off our property.”

My oldest cousin, Eli, who followed Lan—probably after they were plotting some chaos in my brother’s room—looks her up and down. “Pretty sure I’ve seen you before, but where?”

“I’ve been literally coming here for the past two years!” she screams, her high-pitched voice grating on my last nerve.

“Oh, right! You’re the help!”

“I’m not!”

He looks at Lan. “She’s not?”

“Of course not.” My brother makes a mock gasp. “The help has more grace than this cheap rug.”

“Okay, that’s enough,” I say, exasperated. “Just leave, Clara.”

“I don’t agree with the breakup. We’re still together.” She cowers under my brother’s and cousin’s menacing attention. “I’ll text you later, babe.”

“Don’t call me that,” I mutter, a migraine starting at the back of my head.

“What?” she asks, seeming lost.

“Don’t call me babe. I’m not your babe,” I say, clearer this time, and her eyes widen.

She starts to say something else, but Lan stands in front of me and pushes her away as if she’s a prop. “Off you go. Don’t show your face around my brother again or I’ll cut it to pieces.”

I want to reprimand him, but I’m glad his words finally propel her to move. She quickens her steps down the hall, tension rolling off her in waves.

“I’ll let you know if someone else needs help!” Eli shouts after her and then asks us, “She’s really not the help?”

“The degradation is unnecessary,” I say with a sigh.

Eli rolls his shoulder. He’s an inch taller than us and has dark hair and metal-gray eyes that excel at making people feel uncomfortable in their own skin.

Personality-wise, he’s similar to my brother and they share a destructive nature, which is why they get along, although they like to pretend otherwise. They have a lot of interests in common, including a chess game at our grandfather’s house that’s been going on for over a decade.

But where Landon is a show-off, Eli prefers to work in the shadows.

He’s still too antagonistic, though, which is why I prefer the company of his younger brother, Creigh. However, Eli has always been like a big brother to Lan and me. He made it his mission to protect us when we were growing up and he continues to do so.

Eli, Lan, and even Creigh are firm believers of the King name supremacy and consider an offense against one of its members as a declaration of war. It’s not that I don’t share the sentiment. More like, I never felt worthy of the superior last name.

Lan clutches my shoulder, a wicked grin painting his lips. “Congrats on kicking the bitch to the curb. For the love of Satan, don’t get back together with her. She’s not for you.”

“And how do you know what’s for me? Are you an expert?”

“Me, an expert? Nonsense. But you should at least be with someone who actually only has eyes for you.”

“Aww.” Eli wraps an arm around my other shoulder and squeezes me. “The help dared hurt my precious Bran? Why didn’t you mention that before so I could’ve gouged her eyes out and fed them to the dogs?”

“Maybe that’s why I didn’t,” I mutter. “I’m just going to sleep.”

“Hell no. We need to get you drunk to celebrate.” He clears his throat. “Rems!! Get the pints out!”

A few things are knocked over down the hall before a door is flung open and Remi peeks out, a Cheshire cat grin plastered on his face. “Did someone say pints?”

“Yeah, as much as you can find.” Eli squeezes me. “We’re giving Bran a Congrats for Dodging the Help’s Bullet party.”

“No clue what that is, but I’m in!” He jumps to the opposite room, wearing nothing but boxers, and kicks Creigh’s door open. “Wake up, spawn! We have a partaayyy.”

I’m dragged to the living room against my wishes for a celebration I want no part in. I’d rather paint for an hour or so until ten thirty.

But then again, my paintings are taking a turn I dislike and I find myself hiding the canvases as if they’re a dirty little secret.

Maybe they are.

So perhaps this mindless gathering with my family members is exactly what I need.

I find solace in Creigh’s silent presence, who also didn’t give his approval about attending this sudden celebration.

He’s around Glyn’s age, but he has an old soul and he’s the one I seek out whenever I need calm.

He clinks his bottle of beer against mine and lifts his chin. “Congrats on getting rid of the loose screw.”

Jesus. Even he didn’t like her.

I take a sip of my beer. “I didn’t think you knew she existed.”

“She made sure everyone knew. Not for you, cousin. You deserve someone who doesn’t use you.”

“Thanks, I guess.”

“Even my Cray Cray thinks you dodged a bullet.” Eli ruffles his brother’s hair and headlocks him, at which they start to wrestle playfully.

Landon pushes them away and slides to my side, a calculative look I don’t like slipping into his features. “So what prompted the breakup? Did she cheat again?”

I swallow a long mouthful of beer to avoid his inquisitive gaze. Of course Lan wouldn’t let it go. He’s always acting like a dog, sniffing around, and trying to locate the bone. Bones. Plural.

He knows I kept her around for convenience reasons, and while he didn’t approve of her, he of all people is well aware of the image. The camouflage.

Now, he has no idea why I need that image, and he never will, but he couldn’t have missed its existence. It’s why he’s never liked the way I converted to painting landscapes. He knows I’m doing it as part of that façade.

It’s impossible to hide from him, no matter what I do. It’s like a curse.

I let out a breath, staring at the tinted bottle. “I was bored.”

“So she didn’t cheat. Interesting.” His intrusive eyes dig a hole in the side of my face and I pretend to be fascinated with Remi making a fool of himself.

Thankfully, Lan gets off my case with a simple “Well, I’m glad you finally got bored.”

Not sure why he cares so much about my relationship with Clara, or the lack thereof, but whatever.

I knock back the rest of the bottle and then reach for a second. Maybe it’s better to just get smashed tonight.

Maybe that will numb the illicit thoughts trying to tear through my brain.

Tonight, I broke up with my girlfriend of two years—though on and off—but my thoughts are infested with images of a savage ravaging me.

“Rems! Do those impressions.” Eli points his beer at his cousin, snapping my attention to the present.

“Whatever do you mean, my liege?” Remi says in a dramatic medieval accent. “I shall not be accused of treason when my blood has irrigated these lands for decades.”

I squirm and hide it with a sip of beer. Considering my complicated relationship with my own blood, I get a queasy feeling whenever it’s mentioned. Or worse, when I see it.

“Off with his head!” Lan shouts, seeming to enjoy the theatrical play a bit too much.

“My darling.” Remi reaches for Creigh and hides behind him, still speaking in the same tone. “Save me from these uncivilized barbarians.”

“No one will save you from the guillotine,” Eli says with an evil smirk.

“Hey, there’s no guillotine in Medieval England!”

“We’re in the French Revolution, mon ami.”

“Spawn!” Remi uses Creigh as a shield while Eli tries to bypass him. Lan laughs his head off, and I do, too.

I grew up with these guys and their antics, and I’m grateful for these mindless encounters and the cheeky banter.

They’re my family, simple as that, and I’m thankful in more ways than one.

Mostly because they offered me a place where I can pretend that I belong.

Half an hour later, I need to relieve myself. I leave the rowdy living room and head to the guest toilet.

After I’m done, I wash my hands and stare at my face in the mirror for a second. The sense of nausea rolls in my stomach and I cut eye contact before I smash this mirror to pieces as well.

After I dry my hands, I lift my shirt and stare at the dark-purple hickeys near my collarbone, shoulder, chest, but mostly surrounding my nipples.

A shiver goes through me and I run my fingers over them, hissing at the shadow of pain. I honestly never thought men could have sensitive nipples or, worse, in my case, that it would turn me on when Nikolai played with them.

He didn’t just leave hickeys. He brutalized my skin and created angry teeth marks on it.

Everywhere I touch, he’s there. Like a constant reminder of my fucked-up mental state.

Of how far I fell and how deeply I lost control.

My teammates didn’t see this because I made sure to shower after they left the changing room, pretending I had to do something first. They gave me grief about the hickey on my neck, saying that I had a wild one on my hands.

They meant Clara, of course, but she’s nowhere near wild.

The one who’s driving me fucking insane is none other than a man.

A rowdy, always shirtless, mountain of a man who looks at me like he wants to rip me apart.

I wonder how I look at him.

My gaze lands on my eyes in the mirror and I groan when I accidentally touch my nipple. It’s still sore and aching from his attention earlier, and no matter how much I try to erase that memory, it won’t go away.

I ghost my finger on the tight pebble and pinch it again, imagining it’s his teeth.

My dick twitches, straining against my trousers, and I bite down on my lower lip.

I’m wasted—or getting there. This doesn’t mean anything…

He looked displeased when I ran away earlier. But why? He couldn’t have possibly expected me to stay there for everyone to find us.

My phone vibrates and I freeze, then let my shirt down as I pull it out.

My heart gets stuck in the back of my throat when I see his name on my lock screen.

I should ignore it.

Nothing good comes from it when we interact.

I’m totally going to ignore it.

My thumb hesitates over the screen before I unlock it and open the text.

NIKOLAI

Good evening, lotus flower. Thought I’d start the text like that since you love being so proper.

I resist the urge to roll my eyes and wait for the next text to come. He always has a few of them.

After the night in the alley, not only did he go back to texting me, but he also resumed testing my patience every morning on my runs.

What used to be a sacred activity is now muddied by his endless questions and constant attempts to get close to me.

I skim over his last texts, trying not feel impatient about the dots that keep appearing and disappearing.

His texts are usually long-winded, and, for some reason, he likes to tell me stories about things that happen in the Heathens’ mansion as if they’re any of my business.

His texts can be so sporadic. For instance, yesterday, they were along the lines of:

NIKOLAI

Looking forward to tomorrow. Maybe this time I’ll get more than five sentences from you 😉

FYI. I’m so going to imagine your lips around my cock when I jerk off tonight.

You’re free to do the same, btw.

Please do. I’m getting hard just thinking about it.

Can’t help picturing you choking on my cock.

Fuck. Need to change the subject before I come in my pants.

So Jeremy woke up today and chose violence. Love that for us. Because you bet I was there with him every step of the way. Best friends and all that shit. We beat up these kids who thought they could mess with us and live to tell the story. It’s the fucking audacity for me. Want me to bring you some souvenirs in the form of their broken teeth? Probably not a good idea, right? Just checking. Anyway, can’t wait to see you in your tight shirt and shorts tomorrow. Running has never been so much fun.

A new text appears, and I check it with clammy fingers.

NIKOLAI

So I’m waiting.

ME

For what?

Don’t fuck with me. Did you lose the bimbo yet?

Swallowing is exceptionally difficult as I recall the very obvious breakup that happened earlier tonight. But if I tell Nikolai that, it’ll just go to his head, and we don’t want that.

ME

Whatever I do with my love life is none of your business.

NIKOLAI

I’m making it mine. I told you if you don’t get it done, I’ll do it for you.

I stare with wide eyes as he sends me a picture of a girl sitting beside him in a pub.

Clara.

She’s wearing the same dress from earlier and smiling in her drink.

NIKOLAI

Be at the below address in twenty minutes or I’ll send you a video of her riding my cock.

My ears heat and I struggle against the wave of nausea that shoots up my throat.

I slam my hand on the sink and breathe in loud inhales and exhales, but nothing calms down my rampaging heart. A part of me knows I should either text him and tell him not to do it or ignore him altogether, but that’s not what I do.

Fuck!

I storm out of the house and get into my car. I probably shouldn’t be driving when I’m a little drunk, but I can’t seem to give a fuck as I speed out of the property and head to the address the twat sent me.

It takes me a whole seventeen fucking minutes to arrive at an apartment complex near The King’s U campus.

I punch in the code to the building that he sent me and take the lift to the penthouse. Another code. Another wasted fucking minute I don’t have time for.

The lift opens in the middle of a spacious flat with a transparent ceiling that shows the partially clouded sky and some stars.

The lighting is dim and intimate, like this is a setting for a romantic night.

My anger is barely tucked beneath the surface, tearing and pulling at my precariously standing walls as I stride in the direction of what must be the bedroom.

Giggles reach me first, followed by the rumble of a very familiar voice. I stop in front of the ajar door, sucking nonexistent breaths into my burning lungs.

I should leave and put this entire thing behind me.

Forget.

Deny.

Pretend.

Be in control—

“Wow, you have such a massive cock. And, oh my God, these piercings are fantastic!”

The words purred by none other than Clara have me abandoning any form of resolve I’m grasping at. I let myself free fall, headfirst, my brain propelling past the nausea in my throat and spilling all around me.

I push the door open to be greeted by Clara kneeling between Nikolai’s legs, her hands wrapped around his dick.

He sits on the bed, leaning back on his palms, and he’s only in his boxer briefs that Clara pulled down to free his cock.

Now she’s fisting him, watching, marveling, and admiring.

His gaze shoots to mine as soon as I stand in the doorway, his eyes darkening in an instant as his lips lift in a cruel smirk. “Call me babe, Clara.”

“I can’t wait for you to get this huge cock in me, babe.”

The snap happens in a fraction of a second.

A red haze crawls into my vision until I can only see that fucking color.

On the way here, I thought the raging anger was because Clara was being Clara again.

I thought it was because Nikolai was touching her.

But it’s not until this very moment that the depressing truth crashes into me.

I never gave two flying fucks about Clara. Zilch. Nada.

What’s driving me to the edge of myself isn’t her. It’s her touching Nikolai.

It’s not about her. It’s about him.

Bloody fucking hell.

I shoulder through the door and grab her by a fistful of hair and haul her to her feet. She shrieks and stumbles, finally getting her claws off him.

“What the—” She cuts herself off when I jerk her to a standing position, eyes widening when they meet mine. “Bran…it’s not what you think. I was just lonely and hurt by your rejection and…and…”

“Shut it.” My voice is steady but firm, and her lips form an O.

I’ve never spoken to Clara in this tone. Not when she cheated. Not when everyone called her a gold-digging bitch.

All this time, I didn’t hate her.

I didn’t feel anything for her to hate her.

Now, I want to wrap my fingers around her neck and watch as the life leaves her sleazy eyes.

“Leave,” I say, still speaking so calmly despite the pent-up chaos brewing inside me.

“Baby, please—”

“Nuh-uh,” Nikolai cuts her off this time as he yanks her from my grip and pushes her toward the door. “He’s not your fucking baby.”

He’s dressed now, if boxer briefs can be considered that, and I drag my gaze away from him.

If I don’t, I’ll be tempted to punch him, and I don’t fucking do that.

Clara stares between us, brow furrowing, and I fix my eyes on her, hands jammed in my pockets, without saying a word.

“Off you go,” Nikolai barks and throws the Chanel bag at her. “Don’t let me see you again.”

She wants to say something else, but Nikolai’s glare seems to scare her to the bone, because she jogs out of the room as if she’s being chased.

Soon after, I hear the ding of the lift, but her smell doesn’t disappear.

Fucking flowers.

It lingers in the room and on the man behind me like a ghost.

Fuck him.

Refusing to face him, I start toward the door. “Well, good night, then.”

“Fuck no.” He slams the door shut with a palm on the side of my head. His chest presses to my back, jamming me against the wood as his hot breaths whisper in my ear, “You’re not going anywhere, lotus flower.”


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