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God of Fury – Chapter 15

NIKOLAI

Today is the perfect recipe for violence.

It started with Jer and me riding our bikes into the wind and beating up a few Serpents, doing some old-fashioned house cleaning on the island and teaching them a few valuable lessons. Naturally, that included drawing blood and breaking bones.

While I felt a rush at the time, and Jeremy had to stop me from beating a fuckwit to death, the intoxication disappeared as soon as we got back to the mansion.

I slept in the pool—sorry, I mean meditated—but that didn’t stop me from spiraling down that chaos-driven hole.

There are these times when I’m in the mood to destroy everything—myself included. A high without the drugs. Insanity without the straight jacket.

And it is some form of a mental illness—at least, according to the hotshot psychiatrists my parents took me to the first time I beat a kid to near death for calling Mia a mute. At the age of ten.

Apparently, it’s normal to feel offended on my sister’s behalf and want to rip the other kid a new one. Everyone feels anger. It’s okay, it’s normal.

What’s abnormal, however, is me insisting that the kid should die, have his tongue cut out and shoved down his throat.

Yeah, that one didn’t go over well with any of the people dressed in white in that spotless room. Even my mom, who’s a goddamn leader in the Russian mafia, was concerned about my violent tendencies that manifested early.

More concerned than the time I used my wiener as a gun.

I seem to do that a lot to my dear mama. I worry her to no end and probably keep her up at night thinking about my shenanigans. She’s supportive, though, and often softens her voice when she tells me to be careful when I’m in this mood.

The destructive mood. The red haze mood.

The mood in which the world is full of featureless people with black plastic bags strapped around their heads, waiting to be punched to death.

A mood where everyone and everything grates on my last fucking nerve and I’m better off staying away from the people I love, namely my sisters, my cousins, and Jeremy.

But Kill insisted on fighting me tonight. He’s the only one without enough brain cells to avoid me when I’m like this, but then again, he always says I’m much more fun when I’m exhaling chaotic violence into the world.

It’s the only time he can relate since he’s a bit of a psycho himself.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I love this mode, especially this morning when Jeremy gave me the chance to embark on that thrill of hunting down slimy cunts and teaching them a lesson. Jeremy knows what I need, which is why he’s like the best bro ever.

The only friend who can tolerate my crazy and gives me methods to counter the way my chaotic brain presses on my sanity.

I’m not a docile kitten outside this state of hyper mania—I’ll always want to beat up things for sport. However, at least then I can tell my thoughts apart. I can see the world in colors other than red.

I can see people’s features.

Having had manic episodes since puberty, I’m used to it. I’m so used to it that I have it completely under control.

Today is different.

Today, I jumped off a tree, rolled down a cliff, and fell from my bike. I swam until I nearly had a heart attack.

But that’s the problem. My heart rate hasn’t gone down. Not once. Not when I tried to inhale and exhale slowly. Not when I forced myself to remain still for…five minutes.

I haven’t been able to fucking breathe properly, and whenever I do, my lungs fill with the same fucking red mist that’s blinding my eyes.

Every second of every minute, I’m itching and burning to erase it. And for years, the only way I’ve been able to do that is to beat people the fuck up.

There are also pills, but fuck those right the fuck off. They kill my mind, take away my inhibitions, and nearly drowned me in the pool the last time I took them.

I know how to keep myself in check without their unwanted help. They’re not helping anyway. They just turn me into a fucking zombie, and no one likes that fucked-up guy.

I pace the length of the locker room back and forth, back and forth like a caged gladiator in Roman times.

The crowd’s cheers reach me from outside, buzzing on my skin as if I’m being stung by a thousand bees.

People love the adrenaline of seeing violence. They love the crunching of bones and the spilling of blood. There’s something intoxicating about watching two people shred each other a new one.

And I get off on the screams. The chants. The enchanted look in their eyes. It’s why I usually take a few of them home for a fuck fest that always takes place afterward.

Sex and violence go hand in hand with me. A high. A release. A perfect synergy of fucked-up energy.

Tonight, however, I have absolutely no intention of continuing this tradition. I haven’t for several weeks.

Fucking Kolya and his stupid imaginary chastity belt.

Though he’s not chaste—it’s blasphemy to call him that. He’s just become selective and is only into a certain reluctant asshole.

At the mere thought of my lotus flower, my cock twitches to life, tenting against my shorts.

See. He’s still a dick, just not for everyone.

Pacing the length of the dimly lit locker room, I stare at my phone that’s been gripped in my hand for the past…fuck knows how long.

I should be out there, beating Kill to a pulp and getting beaten in return, but I can’t stop looking at my conversation with Bran.

It’s been four days since the day he finally agreed to stop running from us—well, he didn’t say that exactly, but he laid out all those fucking conditions, so he can bet his ass that I took that as an agreement to my sole condition.

I went running with him the past three days, and he was still stalling, being the epitome of an asshole and refusing to come to the penthouse.

Every day, he came with a different excuse. Practice. Meeting with friends. Art project.

He finds those so easily, the lies slipping out of his beautiful mouth without a second thought.

Fucking liar.

He’s just trying to avoid the inevitable, which I told him in not-so-subtle words over texts yesterday.

ME

You know you’re stalling, right?

You can hide for as long as you wish, but I’ll eventually drag you out, baby.

So I’ve been thinking. I don’t do that a lot, but it’s become a habit lately. You know, since you love all that smart shit.

Wanna know what I’ve been thinking about?

BRAN

Don’t care.

Glad you asked. I’ve been kind of replaying the image of your ass swallowing my fingers as you came all over my stomach. So fucking hot. I came to that image in fucking waves, picturing your erotic face.

Why on earth do you have to speak that way?

Does that mean you were thinking about it, too? I knew I liked you. Serious question. Wanna do it again? This time, maybe replace my fingers with my cock? I’ll make you feel good when I fuck you, baby, I promise.

You’re not going to fuck me, Nikolai.

Eh, what do you mean I won’t fuck you? Isn’t that the whole point behind your exasperating conditions?

Why do you have to be the one who fucks me? Maybe I should be the one who fucks you.

Baby, you’ve never fucked a guy before and I only top. Besides, you obviously enjoy receiving, judging by the way you came apart on my fingers.

Doesn’t mean I’ll let you fuck me.

Are you still weirded out about being touched by a guy? You clearly loved it, no?

Love is a strong word. I just…didn’t mind it.

*eye roll emoji* Then you won’t MIND the fucking either. I’ll prime you really well and try not to make it hurt. Though you do enjoy a bit of pain, since your cum flooded my mouth when I handled you roughly.

Stop talking.

Penthouse tonight?

Tomorrow?

Tomorrow. It’s a date.

He left me on fucking Read.

That was yesterday. I didn’t go on the run today because of all the demons perching on my shoulders and whispering nasty things in my ear.

It’s the first time I haven’t pounced on the chance to see his face, annoy the fuck out of him, and crawl deeper beneath his skin.

I don’t want him to see me this way. I also can’t trust myself not to fuck him the fuck up the moment he’s in front of me.

My finger is stiff as I exit the text exchange and call the only person I’m comfortable speaking to when I’m in this situation.

The only person who told me, “Fuck the pills. If they erase your fire, don’t take them.”

He picks up after a few rings and speaks in a British accent. “Talk to me, son.”

I pace faster, my feet slapping against the tiles. “It’s coming back, Dad. It’s fucking me up in the head and I want it gone.”

“You’re okay. Breathe.” His voice is calm and firm, but I can sense his affection beneath the control.

My father is a high-ranking member of the New York Bratva, the best hitman anyone has had the misfortune to know, and the number one man in my paternal grandfather’s family.

But most importantly, he’s my number one supporter. I love my mom, but she’s a fan of science, of doctors in white coats who love to slap people with labels. She’s also an advocate of the fucking pills. Not my dad. He, like me, believes that I can control it. And I did.

For fucking years.

Doesn’t feel like I’m in control now, though. Fucking far from it.

I’m teetering on the edge of destruction. It pulses beneath my skin and roars in my veins.

“I’m going to snap, Dad. I can feel the pressure gathering and intensifying behind my eyes. Someone will touch or look at me the wrong way and I’ll fucking explode. How do I stop it?”

“Maybe you shouldn’t, Niko. Just fall into it, absorb the shock, and release some steam. You know how to do that the best, no?”

“It’s not fucking working.” I slam my fist against the locker and the sound bangs in the eerie silence like a bomb. “Jeremy gave me the setting I needed this morning and it still didn’t fucking work.”

“What…changed?”

My movements come to a halt as I trace the necklace my dad gave me when I started to need a crutch. Something to touch when I feel my mind spinning, screaming, and turning against me.

“What do you mean?” I ask in a quiet voice.

“Did something happen recently that triggered this? Perhaps a stressful situation? An outcome you don’t approve of, maybe?”

Fuck.

I stroke my fingers over the bullet on my necklace, fast, uncoordinated.

“What is that something, son?” Dad asks cautiously.

“Someone. Maybe.”

“Who is it?”

“Not important,” I lie through my teeth, my movements turning jerkier and more out of control.

“In that case, get rid of them.”

The very foundation of my fucking sanity, or whatever remains of it, revolts against that idea.

“Nikolai. You need to promise me that you’ll get rid of whoever drove you to this state,” Dad says more firmly. “The key to keeping you in control is not to provoke you. If this person is doing that, they need to be gone.”

“Yeah, I know.”

“You’ll do it?”

“Yeah.”

“Promise?”

“Yeah, Dad. I promise.”

“Good.” He releases a breath. “I love you, son, and I’m glad you could confide in me.”

“Love you, too, Dad.” I hang up with a scowl.

He’s right. I should get rid of the provocation. Technically, Bran means nothing. So what if I want to fuck him? I wanted to fuck a lot of people before him and I’m sure I’ll go back to my old ways soon if I give myself time.

The only difference is that I’ve never wanted to make someone mine as much as I want to chain him the fuck up to me.

But I can remove him from my life.

have to remove him, because Dad is right. He’s provoking me. I was supposed to get under his skin, but he’s the one spreading beneath mine like poison. It won’t be long before he reaches my heart and slams it to a halt.

His constant rejection and running away is messing with my head in ways I don’t approve of.

I’ve always kept things physical, but that’s far from being the case with Bran. I’m spending more time with him than I have with anyone, and I actually like it.

No. I love it.

I can’t imagine my days without seeing his face first thing in the morning and that little smile he hides so soon after spotting me.

He rejects me, and I keep going back for more like a junkie who needs a hit of the drug that’s sucking my life dry.

But this can’t go on anymore.

Throwing my phone on the bench, I storm out of the locker room and jog to the ring, where Kill is waiting.

The crowd roars to life as I jump in from between the ropes, wearing nothing but my black shorts, my necklace, and a few bandages.

“Welcome, princess.” Kill flashes me a vicious grin, running a bandaged hand over his naked chest and the band of his red shorts.

“You might want to fuck off, Kill,” I say over the pressure gathering in my head. “I could actually hurt you.”

“Show me what you got, Niko.”

I crack my neck, thankful for having a crazy motherfucker for a cousin. Like Jeremy, he knows how much I need this and will fight me whenever I’m in this fucked-up state of mind.

The referee announces the start of the match. My cousin circles me, but I don’t have time for that shit.

Hurt.

Maim.

Kill.

I pounce and punch him in the face so hard, he reels a few steps back. A collective gasp echoes from the crowd as blood drips on the mat.

My cousin wipes the side of his cut mouth, a bloodied grin slipping through. “That’s it, Niko. Unleash the fucking crazy.”

I pummel him, all thoughts disappearing from my head and replaced by pure, bloody violence.

Kill tries to defend himself and actually lands a few blows, but it’s of no use. I feel no pain in this mode. No fucking remorse or reprieve or the need to press down on the fucking brakes.

The only thing that saves him from me is the referee forcing us back to our corners. And even after that, Jeremy and Gareth jump into the ring and shove me away from him.

Gareth wipes the blood off his brother’s face, but Kill keeps grinning as if I’m not on the verge of murdering him.

Jeremy is also cleaning some of the blood that I didn’t know I had on me, but he has to stay in the ring because I’m not fucking sitting down or staying still.

I can’t.

My feet are moving of their own accord, my mind is racing, and my blood is pumping.

Let me back in there.

Let me back.

Fucking back!

“Niko!” Jeremy shakes my shoulders and I finally look at him through my hazy vision. “Maybe you should leave.”

“Fuck no.”

“You don’t look good, man.” He pauses, the silence punctured by all the fangirls—and fanboys—calling my name. “I don’t know how to describe it, but this is different from your other times. Maybe you should take the pills.”

“Fuck. No.”

“Fuck this, Nikolai.” Jeremy clutches me by the nape, nearly shoving my forehead against his. “I don’t care about the lowlifes you beat up this morning. Fuck those people. Fuck them, okay? But Kill is your cousin. He agreed to this because he saw you were struggling, but you’re beating him to a pulp.”

“He’s fucking enjoying it…”

I trail off when I feel an intense gaze at the back of my head. For a moment, I think Kill is letting his psycho demons loose so they can try to intimidate mine—and fail miserably—but no.

It’s coming from the crowd.

My gaze flits through the undefinable faces, not lingering on any so that I don’t see them as people with bags strapped around their heads.

In a few seconds, my eyes find those intense blue ones.

I’m dreaming.

Fuck.

I’m too far gone to imagine Bran actually coming to the fight club when his brother isn’t involved. Pretty sure he’s allergic to violence, blood, and craziness. Which is why I stayed away today despite how every cell in my body protested at the prospect.

I blink once, but he’s still there, standing out like a sore thumb in his polo shirt, pressed pants, and slicked-back hair.

A dash of dark blue fixates on me and I completely forget that I have to lose him like Dad said.

I have to remove him from my life.

How the fuck will I be able to do that when he looks at me like that? I’m getting fucking hard the more he watches me with undivided attention, his gaze sliding from Jeremy to me.

A leggy blonde taps his shoulder and he cuts eye contact and forces a smile, then she throws herself in his arms. He hugs her back.

My eyes narrow on his hand on her.

Is that the next Clara? She doesn’t look like a Clara type. More sophisticated, happier, and definitely not cheap.

Pretty sure I’ve seen her before, but where…?

Who gives a fuck? He’s using someone else for his stupid public image. God forbid the fucking asshole actually accepts he’s gay or bi or what-the-fuck-ever and gets over his fucking self.

“Nikolai!” Jeremy brings my attention back to him and slaps my cheek with the back of his hand. “Where the fuck did you go, man?”

Somewhere not nice.

“Hey, Jer?”

“Yeah?”

“Will you stop me if I have this crazy idea about killing innocent girls?”

His lips part. Jeremy is this big mafia prince who doesn’t hesitate before inflicting pain, but he’s looking at me as if I’m the Mad Hatter. “What girls are you thinking about killing, Niko?”

“Anyone who gets in the fucking way of what I want.” My gaze flies back to the crowd, but he’s not there.

The spot beside the blonde is now empty as she drinks from a can of beer and joins the excessive cheers.

Where the fucking fuck did that asshole go now?

You know what? It’s fine.

It’s better I don’t see him when I’m this way.

I’m fucking fine.

Maybe if I rip a page from Bran’s denial book and tell myself a lie for long enough, I’ll be able to believe it.

Once the fight resumes, I’m back at Kill’s throat. I beat him the fuck up and he takes it with taunting smirks and provoking words as if he wants to drain my energy—and get himself killed.

By the time the fight finishes with the absolute destruction of my cousin, the crowd is going wild. My name echoes and reverberates, but the thrill doesn’t touch my skin.

Nothing fucking does.

I storm to the locker room, my shoulders tense and my throat dry. Every swallow feels as if I’m slowly cutting at my insides, curling and twisting them into a huge pool of fucked-up red.

Whenever my mind goes into overdrive, violence is usually enough to root me back in place. Not this time.

This time, I want out of my fucking head.

My fist slams into the locker, leaving a huge dent in the metal, and I breathe harshly, my exhales rebounding around me like animalistic growls.

A light catches my attention in the corner and I pick up my phone to find a string of texts from none other than my lotus flower. My heart beats faster, harder, tugging at the strings that are keeping it in place.

The first text arrived soon after I left the locker room for the match.

BRAN

I heard you’re going to fight tonight. Can you not?

Okay, listen. I didn’t mean to ignore you. It’s just that I didn’t know what to say. It’s weird to ask a guy to fuck me.

I don’t mean you’re weird. Really, I don’t. Though you are. But that’s not the point. What I’m trying to say is that you’re not weird for your sexuality. I apologize if it came out that way. I just meant that it feels weird to me. I’m not used to this.

I’ll come to your place tonight. If you want. Just don’t fight, please.

He stopped texting after that and probably got his ass here.

His next texts appeared just now.

BRAN

So you did fight and you looked like you were enjoying yourself. Should I take that as a no?

You know what? I’m going to your place. You’re the one who said this was a date.

Ah, fuck.

Fuck it.

Fuck. Me.

I know I should be pushing him away. I really, really should. But he’s so fucking irresistible.

Looks like my lotus flower will meet the crazy Nikolai.

God save his soul.

Or, more accurately, his body.


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