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

God of Fury – Chapter 22

NIKOLAI

The situation turned into a shitshow.

Two people left that basement in a fucking ambulance that day.

One of them was me due to that motherfucker Creighton. But hey, karma is a little bitch who works very fast, because he also got what was coming to him.

I might have made my fate worse since I pushed my throat against his blade. No regrets, though. I refused the very notion of being used against Jeremy. That’s just not going to happen under my fucking watch.

Anyway, that was over a week ago.

I’m fine now, didn’t need many stitches, and in a few weeks, I can wear the new scar as a badge of honor. Yes, bitch.

My sisters and Jeremy don’t agree about how I view the whole incident, but who gives a fuck. I’m alive.

I’m fine.

Or I was. Until I found out a tragic fact that I’d been blind to see this whole time.

My baby sister Mia is apparently friends with Bran.

Friends.

Why the fuck would he be friends with my sister? Unless he has an ulterior motive and is using her for another diabolical plan by his fucking brother or his whole fucked-up family.

He didn’t even visit me in the hospital.

Not that I’m butthurt about that or thinking about it on a daily basis or anything equally crazy.

We’re done.

Yeah, right. You haven’t moved on a fucking inch.

I could swear I heard his voice when I was sleeping and even saw him sitting in the chair beside my hospital bed and felt him stroking my hair. But then again, I’ve often been delusional when it comes to him.

Sometimes, I pictured him walking out from the penthouse elevator.

Other times, I imagined he came up to kiss me in public.

The few times I fell into a deep sleep, I dreamed of his heartfelt smiles, erotic noises, and his head on my thigh.

He invaded my every waking and sleeping moment.

The harder I pushed my mind to forget him, the more persistently he haunted me. Oftentimes, I found myself in the penthouse just to be able to smell him or see his shadow in the kitchen fixing God knows what.

But I was fine. Fucking perfect. Except for bugging Jer to give me problems to solve and being at the fight club on a daily basis, everything else was awesome.

I don’t deal with complications, so removing the major complication from my life was the most logical decision I’d ever made. I was proud of myself for making that choice. For extracting the tumor that was growing inside me. I no longer had to deal with his grouchy presence, his push-and-pull games, and his stupid mixed signals.

There was just his pesky fucking ghost that followed me everywhere and wouldn’t leave me alone, but I was handling it.

I was fucking okay.

Until he sent me that goddamn text.

Just like that, the thin layer of ice I’d surrounded myself with melted away.

The asshole was right. I can’t stay away from him.

I can force myself away, I can try to be the very thing I’m not—logical—but then I’ll stalk him on social media and sometimes in real life.

From the shadows, like a motherfucking creep.

Now is one of those times.

I lean against my Harley, arms crossed and helmet on. I’m even wearing a leather jacket to be anonymous.

My gaze is on an NGO’s building. This is his favorite charity—the one that organizes marathons and performs volunteer work around the island.

Naturally, Bran is one of their top volunteers since he has that kink for running.

What I love about this building is that the windows are large and I can see what’s going on inside, even if I’m across the street pretending to be having coffee. I haven’t touched the cup since I bought it, considering the helmet and all.

My eyes track Bran’s movements as he carries some chairs to the other side of a giant hall and smiles at something his colleague, a rosy-cheeked curvy brunette, says.

It’s his golden-boy smile, not exactly fake, but it’s not genuine, either. He’s mostly polite as he listens to her blabbering on and on like a fucking chatterbox.

He better stop smiling at her or she’ll do a fast climb to the top of my shit list.

Would she stop fucking talking already?

I need to chill for one second, because we’re not even together anymore.

Not that we were before.

He says something to his male colleague, and I also think about ways to make him die in his sleep, but the guy is not the problem. He mostly seems to engage in the conversation politely like most British people do.

The brunette, however, keeps following Bran from one end of the room to the other, buzzing around him like an annoying fucking bee.

She’s obviously flirting—her eyes are droopy and she keeps twirling her hair and giggling like a fucking schoolgirl. Bran’s body language never changes, though. He’s smiling, yes, but he’s in complete control of the situation.

I know exactly what he looks like when he’s interested, and the girl isn’t getting anything. Not a flaring of his nostrils, a bobbing of his Adam’s apple, or even continuous eye contact.

Either he’s too oblivious to her attempts at catching his attention or he doesn’t care.

Now, it’d be interesting if it was the second option—

She places her hand on his arm and I narrow my eyes. If she doesn’t remove it, that hand will be broken into fucking pieces.

We need to rectify this situation.

I pull out my phone and stare at the text he sent me after the last time I saw him in the Elites’ mansion basement.

BRAN

I’m sorry I couldn’t get you out before everything that happened. I’m also really sorry about what my family did. I wish I could’ve stopped it.

Are you okay?

I know you don’t want to talk to me, but can you please tell me if you’re doing okay?

?

I ignored him.

If he really wanted to check on me, he should’ve gotten his ass to the hospital.

Not that I’m salty about that or anything.

Now, I type.

ME

What the fuck is up with your ‘friendship’ with Mia?

He’s still exchanging pleasantries with the girl as he takes out his phone from his pocket. His smile disappears upon looking at the screen and I take pride in how he looks a bit distraught at receiving a text from me.

There are more emotions in his face now than in the past hour. And yes, I’ve been here for that long.

Call it an unhealthy fucking obsession.

He distances himself from the girl—in your face—and leans against a table, ankles crossed, as he continues staring at the screen. He does that for a full fucking minute. I know, because I’m looking at the time.

Finally, my phone lights up.

BRAN

We’re just friends. We love gaming.

Dry as the fucking desert.

Bran remains in the same position, watching his phone. From the outside looking in, he seems composed and unaffected, but the fact that he’s waiting is a sign of his messed-up equilibrium.

ME

You want me to believe that?

BRAN

Why wouldn’t you?

The fact that you suspiciously became friends with MY sister? How do I know you won’t use her to get revenge against me or as your fucked-up version of camouflage like you did with Clara?

He glares at his phone and I can see the fire spreading from his eyes in waves.

BRAN

I won’t do that. Mia is really just a friend. Besides, why would I want revenge against you? We’re already over, aren’t we?

As I read his text, I watch him pulling at the hairs on his nape, his face tight, his shoulders hunched.

And the scene does something to me.

I know I’m falling back into the same pattern that I left—or pretended to. I’m letting him have his way because I can’t fucking stay away from him.

Because ever since I sent him that text, I’ve been thinking about him more than if I were meeting him every day.

Because I haven’t been able to fucking breathe since he disappeared, and now, I watch dumb Agatha Christie episodes because they remind me of him trying to explain the bland characters.

ME

Do you want it to be over?

He stares at the phone, lips parting, and the incessant pulling at his hair comes to an abrupt halt.

BRAN

What is that supposed to mean? You’re the one who told me we’re done.

ME

But you never told me what you want.

Don’t fuck with me, Nikolai.

You’re the one who fucked with me first. You texted me and were talking big on the phone and even came to save me. Maybe you’re the one who can’t stay away from me.

You’re right. I can’t. I tried and it’s not working.

My jaw hits the floor as I read and reread his text to make sure this isn’t another one of my delusional episodes.

Fuck. I can’t believe he admitted that out loud.

Through text. But it still counts.

ME

Does that mean you’re miserable?

BRAN

Are you enjoying this?

Maybe. Gotta up my asshole game so I can match your energy.

Rub it in, would you?

Oh, I will. You can count on it.

Are you okay? Glyn said you were, but I want to hear it from you.

Meet me in the penthouse and I’ll tell you.

When?

Now.

I expect him to send me an excuse so we can meet later after he’s done playing the golden boy and being with his friends. But then my phone lights up.

BRAN

I’ll be there in twenty.

ME

Come out now.

?

Look across the street.

His head whips up and then he looks at me with that adorable stupefied expression. I wave at him and he searches his surroundings before he texts me.

BRAN

What are you doing here?

ME

Come out. I have a helmet and I’m fully dressed. No one will know it’s me.

Go first. I’ll follow in my car.

You have two minutes to come outside or I’ll go in there and it won’t be pretty since I might actually break that girl’s hand for touching you.

Don’t. I’ll be right out.

He mumbles something to an older lady in the back, and a few moments later, he storms out of the building. I expected him to be panicking about the possibility of being seen in public with me, but he seems more angry than panicked.

Interesting.

My gaze continues tracking his movements as he strides toward me, and fuck.

I missed seeing him up close in his elegant shirts and pants, looking so hot and fit. Though a part of me wishes he was a bit disheveled like I’ve been this entire time.

But then again, Bran has always been the personification of perfection. He handles himself with rigorous discipline and neurotic control. It’s who he is. That’s why he can be falling apart and look like he’s detached.

I always thought it was a defense mechanism he’d developed, but against what, I don’t know. Since he’s a closed-off asshole and all that.

As soon as he stops in front of me, he watches me for a beat, even though he can’t see anything.

After I throw away the untouched cup of coffee, I pass him the spare helmet and he shoves it on so that only his eyes are visible. They’re intense and fucking angry, but I sense something different there. Lust as ferocious as mine. Longing that almost matches my own.

Almost.

“What on earth are you doing here? Are you a stalker?” he snaps.

“Maybe.”

“You could’ve told me to come over.”

“And you would’ve?”

“I am now, aren’t I?” He releases a long sigh. “Let’s just go.”

“Hop on.”

I throw my leg over the seat and rev the engine as Bran climbs on behind me and grabs the back of the seat for balance. Like he did the first time he was on my bike, which was coincidentally the first and only time anyone has ever been on my Harley.

No matter how many times others expressed their desire to ride it—and then me—I didn’t like the idea of anyone else but me touching this baby.

For some reason, I don’t mind when it’s Bran. In fact, I wanted to get him in this position again after that first night he gave in.

The night after which I messed with his control in an irrevocable fashion. In return, he completely fucked me up.

I rev the engine again. “You can grab onto my shoulders. I don’t bite.”

“Sure about that?” he asks with a note of sarcasm.

“Okay. I don’t bite when I’m riding.”

I expect him to refuse since he’s allergic to any public touching, but he must be comfortable with how the helmets disguise us, because his hands curl around the tops of my shoulders.

It’s not on purpose, but my lips pull into a smile behind my helmet. Fuck. It’s been so long since he had his hands on me, and even though annoying clothes separate us, I soak in the feel of his hands and his warmth radiating down my back.

He shifts behind me and I suck in a sharp inhale, breathing in his citrus and clover scent.

Fuck me.

The smell goes straight into my brain as if I sniffed a line of cocaine.

I slide down the road before I haul him over and do something that will definitely send him running.

It’s windy and I don’t reduce my speed. Gravity forces Bran to be glued to me, his chest pressed to my back, his fingers digging into my shoulders, and his thighs rubbing against mine.

Note to self: I should take him on more rides.

Though that depends on what he says tonight, because I won’t let him have his way anymore.

It’s time we do it my way.

I take a longer route to the penthouse, relishing the feel of his body pressed up against me. And just to fuck with him, I speed up.

His fingers grip my shoulders tighter.

“It’s easier if you wrap your hands around my waist,” I shout over the wind.

“No way in hell.”

“No one will know it’s us. Chill, my dude.”

“I’m not your dude! And I’m not wrapping my arms around your waist like some girl.”

“No girl has wrapped her arms around my waist while I’m riding. Simon might have, though,” I taunt.

His blunt nails dig into my shoulders and I can feel them through the jacket. He’s definitely not doing this to hold on to me.

“One more reason not to do it.” He sounds strained, battling against the anger rolling off him in waves.

Did I mention that I love pushing his buttons?

“What if I tell you no one but you has been on my bike?”

“You just said Simon wrapped his arms around you.”

“I was messing with you.”

“Fuck you.”

I hit the brakes for a bit and he slams further into my back. This time, he wraps his arms around my waist, fingers interlacing at my abs.

I could get used to this.

Just when I’m considering delaying the trip home, the floodgates open and rain pours down, and we’re drenched in seconds.

“Fucking UK weather, am I right?” I shout.

I can feel the rumble of his chest against my back, but he speaks evenly. “It is what it is.”

“Take it or leave it, huh?” I ask, and I’m not sure if it’s about the weather anymore.

“I guess,” he says quietly.

I get us to the building and park my bike in the underground parking lot, then hop off and remove my helmet.

Thankfully, I didn’t get my hair wet. The rest of me is another story, though.

My movements come to a halt when I’m slammed by the most erotic view.

Bran’s white T-shirt has turned transparent, sticking to his muscles and flashing his nipples in a striptease show. My dick twitches and I have to look up so I don’t get an unwanted and entirely embarrassing erection.

I’m trying to prove a point, damn it.

Be cold.

Stay cool.

Don’t fucking give in.

“This is a bit inconvenient,” Bran mutters as he tries to unhook the strap at his chin.

I push his hand away and do it for him, then remove the helmet.

“I could’ve done it myself,” he grumbles

“Or you could say thank you.”

“Thanks.”

Fuck me.

I’m not used to this docile part of him. Yes, he’s polite and shit, but he’s being extra careful today.

Almost as if he’s walking on eggshells.

He glances at me and his eyes widen as they focus on my neck, probably on the Band-Aid there.

My gaze follows his hand as he reaches toward it, but then he fists it and jams it in his pocket. “Is that really okay?”

“Don’t pretend that you care.”

A frown appears between his brows. “Why wouldn’t I?”

“Why would you?”

“Think what you will of me, but I don’t like seeing you hurt.”

“If that were true, you would’ve visited me at the hospital.”

“I did—” He cuts himself off and looks away. “Doesn’t matter.”

“It does matter. Look at me.”

He slowly does, and an uncharacteristic sheen of pain covers his face.

“You visited? How come I never saw you?”

“You were sleeping.” He rubs the back of his head. “I managed to sneak past Jeremy and Gareth when they were speaking to the doctor. But I had to leave soon after since Lan came looking for me and was about to start more drama.”

So he was there.

I wasn’t imagining him sitting beside me and stroking my hair.

Is that tidbit supposed to make me feel this fucking giddy?

Cold. You have to be cold or this won’t work.

I head to the elevator, not waiting to see if he follows. He does, trudging behind me. The trip is spent in suffocating silence aside from the sound of water dripping from our clothes onto the floor.

Or my struggle to stop myself from ogling his transparent shirt.

A part of me wants to corner him and feast on his lips, take my fill for the weeks he’s been out of my life.

That’s a lie.

Since I first saw him, he’s never been out of my life. Not really.

I have to hold myself back and not touch him, not fall first this time, because if I do, I’ll just slip back into the pattern I ended things for.

This time, it’ll be different.

The elevator dings and I stroll inside the penthouse. Behind me, I can sense Bran watching the space as if relearning it or searching for something he left.

I go into the bedroom and come back with towels and a change of clothes.

He nods and clears his throat as if chasing away something stuck there. “Thanks.”

I say nothing as I walk back into the bedroom, strip down, dry myself, and then put on shorts.

Forget about the shirt. I don’t like them and I won’t pretend to now.

When I return to the living room, I find Bran has also changed into the gray shorts and white T-shirt I gave him. They’re loose and unflattering, but he’d look annoyingly hot in a potato sack.

Also, I really, really love seeing him in my clothes. I have to look away because I’m starting to get hard at the view.

He’s putting his things in the washing machine and calls out, “Nikolai, bring your wet clothes when you’re finished.”

Even though I’m already here, I go back and get everything I left on the bathroom floor.

There’s no other way to describe the look he gives me other than snobbish disregard.

“You couldn’t put them in something? They’re dripping all over the place.”

“Okay, Mom,” I mock.

He yanks the clothes from my hands with an exasperated sigh and puts them in with his—except the white shirt that he has on the rack near the balcony door. No whites with colors is apparently a rule when doing laundry.

He reaches into the cabinet above him and brings out the detergent, softener, and some other thing that’s apparently good for the skin. Once he’s done with that useless routine, he sets the washing machine program.

Then he walks to the kitchen, puts the kettle on—that he bought, because I couldn’t care less for tea—and retrieves some herbal tea infusions that have remained untouched since he stopped coming here.

I can’t help standing there and watching him move around the area as if he never left. His movements are easier now, and he no longer looks like he’s walking on thin ice around me.

“You don’t have milk?” he asks, head shoved in the fridge.

“No, Grandma,” I mock again.

He glares at me. “Why are you like this?”

“Like what?”

“Completely unorganized. You’re no different than a savage.”

I throw my weight on the sofa and splay my arm on the back. “More like you’re neurotically organized.”

“I just like things in order.”

“Isn’t that a thing called OCD?”

“No, it’s not. Don’t throw those terms around if you don’t understand them.”

“Yes, sir.”

He grabs the kettle and gives me the side-eye. “Are you done being sarcastic?”

“Are you done nitpicking?”

He shakes his head with clear displeasure.

Usually, I’d grin and even get in his space, but I’m trying to be cold, so I just watch him.

I missed having him here, even if he’s always being an asshole about everything. It was like a fucking prison without him.

Right now, it feels as if he never left.

He pours the hot water in a transparent pot over the herbs, then he puts it on a tray with two cups and brings it over.

Bran sits across from me with the tray on the coffee table between us. The sound of the thunderstorm and pouring rain is the only noise for a while.

“What’s the stupid herbal tea name this time?”

“Lemon and ginger,” he says and then looks at his watch to measure the time.

If it were the past, I would’ve filled the silence and pounced on any opportunity to talk to him, be near him. I would’ve been right beside him by now, either coaxing his head on my thigh or using his as a pillow.

Right now, however, I force myself to remain both still and silent, my fingers digging into the back of the sofa to stop them from doing something stupid and ruining my plan.

Bran stares at his watch for what seems like forever before he finally looks up and releases a long sigh. “Why did you bring me here?”

“To hear your answer to my question earlier. Do you want us to be over?”

His Adam’s apple bobs up and down as he swallows. Lightning strikes, casting a harsh glow on his handsome face as thunder rumbles in the distance. The silence stretches for a few heavy seconds before he bows his head and shakes it once.

I have to suppress a smile because, fuck me, he’s so damn hot.

Can I just fuck him?

No, Kolya. Control your fucking libido for once and stay on standby.

“Use your words. And look at me.”

He slowly lifts his head, his eyes plunging into mine. Rain beating down on the roof lingers for a few agonizing beats before he speaks in a strained voice. “Do I have to say it?”

“Uh-huh.”

“I don’t want to end it.” His voice is so low, I can barely hear him. “Happy now?”

“No.”

“What… Why?”

“I won’t go back to the way things were.”

His lips part and he pulls on his stupid hair as his voice comes out strained, choked, even. “Then why did you ask? Why did you bring me here? Is this…a game?”

“Maybe.”

“If you think you can play me—”

“Why the fuck can’t I? Didn’t you play me enough?”

“I…did not.”

“We have different opinions about that.” I lean closer in my seat. “Here’s how it will go, Brandon. I don’t give a fuck if you come out or not. That’s your decision. But you will not leave after every time either.”

“But everyone at home—”

“I’m not hearing it. If you want me, this is how you’ll get me.”

“And if I can’t?”

“The door is right there. Don’t let it hit you on the way out.”

The veins in his neck nearly pop and he grabs his hair tighter, pulling, tugging. I can see the war in his eyes and I don’t like it. I don’t like that he’s hurting himself, and part of me wants to stop it.

But I don’t. Because Bran is the type who needs to be pushed off his high fucking horse.

He’s teetering on the edge, I can feel it and taste his conflict in the air.

One more shove.

I take out my phone. “What’s it going to be, posh boy? Let me know if you’re leaving so I can call someone else.”

His eyes flash in terrifying rage and he drops his hand as his muscles tighten. No more conflict or anxiety rolls off him in waves. The only thing that remains is the coiling anger that hardens his eyes.

“So that’s your goal? Getting rid of me to return to your fuck buddies?”

“Why would you care?”

He jumps up, rounds the table, and climbs on top of me. He fists my hair, his knees pressing on either side of me. His body hovers over mine, vibrating with tension even as his voice comes out steady, threatening. “Have you touched someone else, Nikolai? Hmm?”

I stare up at him, clenching and unclenching my hand on the sofa to keep from grabbing his hip or his back. Anywhere I can touch him. God, I fucking missed the heat rolling off him and the feel of his skin on mine.

Just one more push. A tiny one.

“Why are you asking? Jealous?”

“Don’t fuck with me. I didn’t even agree to the damn breakup, so technically, we were never done. So tell me, Nikolai. Who did you fuck? Simon? Someone else? Couldn’t keep it in your pants, right? You’re pathetic.”

“If I’m pathetic, then what are you? Delusional?”

“If you don’t tell me, I’m walking out right now. Who was it? Who took my fucking place?”

“No one.”

His eyes widen and his grip loosens around my hair, even as he keeps me in place. “Really?”

“Really.”

“No one came here?”

“No.”

“Why?”

Because this is our place and no one else is allowed in it.

But instead of saying that, I lift a shoulder. “What about you? Did you fuck anyone else? I’m going to need names and addresses.”

“You’re mental.” He smiles a little before he shakes his head. “There was no one. I don’t even like sex.”

“You obviously do.”

“Only with you,” he whispers, his fingers stroking my pulse point beside the bandage.

Only with you.

Pride swells inside me and I want to probe about that, but that’s not for now, so I ask the most important question. “Does that mean you’ll stay?”

His answer comes in the most beautiful form.

My lotus flower sighs with resignation as he crashes his lips to mine.


Comment

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.

Options

not work with dark mode
Reset