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God of Fury – Chapter 24


After a long battle with the image in the mirror, I manage to cut eye contact and drag myself out of the bathroom.

The more intense the pleasure, the more crippling the pain.

The longer I forget, the more cruelly my head torments me.

But I’m done with my daily dose of self-loathing now. I’m fine.



I step into the bedroom with a towel wrapped around my middle and another one drying my hair.

My feet come to a halt when I don’t find Nikolai waiting. Usually, he’d be doing push-ups, punching the air, or pacing like a caged lion.

Though he did say he’d take a shower in the second bathroom down the hall. Maybe he also takes long showers.

I put on a pair of his shorts and a gray T-shirt, then pause when his cologne fills my nostrils. My fingers bunch the cloth and I lift it to my nose to drag in a long inhale.

For some reason, his rich, masculine scent has a calming effect on me.

He has a calming effect on me.

I linger in the bedroom and stare at the bed. Earlier, I made him help me change the sheets as he grumbled about my OCD, but now, I can’t help thinking about the fact that I’m staying the night.

What do people do in these situations? I’ve never stayed the night with anyone before. It’s just not me.

I loathe the idea of being too close, of letting myself too loose.

But I guess I’ll have to cope for Nikolai.

I’m terrified that once he cracks me open, he’ll find me revolting. He’ll see me as I see myself in the mirror—as a black hole of nothingness.

I want to run and hide, but that means losing him.

So I stay.

It’s the least I can do.

Better pray he doesn’t finally see you for the basket case you truly are.

I try to ignore that voice as I walk out of the bedroom. Should I go check on him in the shower?

Honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s punching the air as if it’s his demons. I just want to make sure he’s okay, considering he falls asleep in weird positions.

My steps are silent as I walk down the hall and knock on the bathroom door. “Nikolai?”

No answer.

I knock again. “Is everything okay?”


My breaths are choppy as I grab the doorknob. “I’m coming in.”

My heart nearly hits the floor when I find the water flowing out of the Jacuzzi bathtub and Nikolai submerged.

No, no, no…

A ringing floods my ears as I run toward him, drop to my knees, and thrust my hands into the water to grab his shoulders.

I should’ve checked on him earlier. If anything happens to him, I’ll never forgive myself—

His eyes pop open and he grins, then speaks in the water, bubbles erupting everywhere before he lifts his head.

I fall to my arse, air leaving me in long doses. Jesus Christ. Why does it feel like I just died and was resurrected?

“Lotus flower? What are you doing here? Oh! Wanna join me?”

“Why the fuck—” I cut myself off and speak in a calmer tone. “Why were you underwater?”



“Yeah.” He grins. “I can hold my breath for over four minutes.”

“Let me get this straight. You meditate by holding your breath underwater?”

“Yup. Want me to teach you?”

“You’re seriously fucking mental.”

“Is that a good thing?” He shakes his head, sending water flying everywhere.

“No, it’s not. And stop that. Are you a dog?”

“Woof.” He grabs my cheeks with wet fingers. “Let me lick your face.”

“Hard pass.” I push him away and stand up, shoving my hand behind my back to hide how much I’m shaking. “Don’t do that again. It’s dangerous. You could fall asleep and drown.”

“I love it when you’re worried about me, baby.”

“Just come out.” I head to the door and throw a glance behind me. “And you better clean up this mess.”

“Okay, Mom!” he shouts behind me.

I head back to the bedroom and change into a dry T-shirt and shorts.

Wearing his clothes feels is like I’m wrapped up in the cocoon of his arms. It’s weirdly intimate.

A good weird, though.

Sitting on the edge of the bed, I check on my cousin Creighton. Uncle Aiden took him back to London after he nearly managed to get himself killed. And while I hate that he dragged Nikolai down with him and he’s the main reason why Nikolai even slit his throat, Creigh got the short end of the stick. We really thought he wouldn’t make it.

Although he’s alive, he’s been in a foul mood, and I worry about him.

He does reply to me, though it’s monosyllabic. It’s enough for now.

I text Remi, then tell him and Lan that I’m staying the night at the school’s art studio to finish a project.

They reply right away.


Mate, I’m telling you this with the sincerest love, but the only time you should spend the night somewhere is if you’re shagging. Don’t be a nerd.

If only he knew the truth.


What project?

Of course he’d be suspicious. It wouldn’t be Lan otherwise. But for some reason, I like that he checks on me all the time. Even if he’s doing it out of a sense of narcissism. Being his identical twin means I can’t reflect badly on his pristine image.


One of those you call boring. Sorry I’m not up to your level.


Little bro, I’m telling you for the millionth time that you are up to my level if you quit restraining yourself. You used to make masterpieces without a single thought, but now that you’re THINKING instead of CREATING, it’s a fucking chore to see your work. But then again, no one listens to Lan, even though he’s always right.

The door bangs against the wall and I lift my head to see Nikolai walking in, entirely naked while drying his hair with a towel.

I place my phone on the side table and release an exasperated sigh. “You couldn’t put clothes on?”

“Clothes are overrated. People should thank me for wearing them in public.” He tilts his head to the side. “Besides, we’ve already seen each other naked, so maybe you’re the one who should strip.”

“No, thanks.”

He lifts a shoulder. “Worth a try.”

I reach into the wardrobe’s drawer and toss him a pair of boxer briefs. “At least put those on.”

“Fine.” He throws the towel on the bed and mutters, “Prude.”

“I heard that and, seriously, hang up your towels, Nikolai.”

He rolls his eyes as he slides the boxer briefs up his muscular thighs and snaps the elastic band with a playful tug.

I drape the towel on a clothes hanger. “Can I ask you something?”

“Why do you need to request permission to ask me something?”

“It’s the polite thing to do.”

“Don’t do that with me. I don’t ask permission when I bombard you with questions.”

“You don’t say.”

“Hey! Was that sarcasm? The infamous passive-aggressiveness?”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

He chuckles, the sound smooth and so joyful, I can’t help the smile that twitches my lips.

“Ask away, baby.”

“Why do you sleep in weird places?”

“I don’t like beds.” He sits on it. “It’s not that I don’t want to sleep in one, I just can’t.”

“Is it because of something that happened?”

“Hmm.” He shakes his head, sending droplets of water everywhere.



“Dry your hair.”

“Why? It’ll dry on its own.”

I pinch the bridge of my nose and point at the stool in front of the vanity. “Sit down.”

He jumps up and plops down on the seat and grins at me through the mirror as I turn on the hairdryer on the lowest setting, medium heat, and start drying his hair.

“So?” I ask, not meeting his gaze. “You were going to tell me if sleeping in strange positions has to do with a certain incident.”

“Oh! Sorry, I got distracted by how fucking hot you look with your hair messy.”

“Nikolai, focus.”

He releases a sigh. “I started sleeping this way in my teens. It was around the time my episodes began.”

My fingers pause in his hair. “What type of episodes?”

“High energy. Racing thoughts. Uncontainable need for more, more, and fucking more. I had it that day when I fought Kill and beat him to a pulp while you were flirting with Eva.”

“Her name is Ava and I was not flirting with her.” My mind goes back to that time, to when his eyes were red and he looked to be on edge. So I was right to think something was wrong. His gaze was empty and for a moment, I thought he didn’t see me.

“She was hugging you.”

“We’re childhood friends.”

“Still don’t like it.” He pouts like a fucking child and I have to stop myself from smiling at how adorable he looks. Jesus. He’s this big tattooed guy who’s larger than life and part of the mafia, but he still acts this way.

Around me.

Only me.

I glide my fingers through his hair, lingering in every spot a bit too long. “Back to the subject at hand, do those episodes happen often?”

“Not really. I have them under control.”

“You didn’t look that much in control that day.”

“That was because you were being an asshole.”

“Me? What do I have to do with it?”

He strokes his necklace. “Nothing.”

I want to probe some more, but he meets my gaze in the mirror. “Oh, right. I wanted to ask you something as well.”


“Why do you not like sex?”

My fingers freeze in his hair and I swallow as I meet his gaze. “What do you mean?”

“You said you don’t even like sex, but you do with me. Why didn’t you before?”

“Not all of us enjoy the activity.”

“Why not? Is it because you only did it with girls?”

God. I can’t believe he’s the first person I’m telling this. But he’s been so open with me, the least I can do is share something in return. I don’t like the rejected look in his eyes whenever I refuse to answer his questions.

“It’s not that. I never looked at a person, of any gender, and felt attracted to them or wanted to have sex with them. I never got hard by external stimuli unless I forced myself into the mood. The concept of being aroused due to seeing erotic images or watching people fucking is foreign to me. I never touched myself unless I needed to get myself hard for sex. Never liked porn or understood other men’s need to shag all the time. If it were up to me, I’d happily go celibate for years.”

I stop before I say ‘Or I would’ve in the past.’ I clearly missed his touch while we weren’t together.

The thought of being without it again triggers a queasy feeling at the base of my stomach.

“Baby, I don’t want to put a label on you since you hate that shit—I do, too, by the way—but that’s a bit ace. Uh, I mean asexual, if you’ve heard of that term.”

“I figured I am. Or I was. I don’t even know what I am anymore.”

“But…you did have sex.”

“Because it was expected, not because I wanted to. My releases were always a physical reaction that never affected me mentally. I just never enjoyed the act. It was more of a chore, really… Why are you smiling like a fool?”

“I just can’t help but feel proud that I made you enjoy the glorious act of fucking.”

“Shut up.” I turn off the hairdryer.

“You just needed a good fucking by yours truly.”


He stands up and wraps his arms around my waist, then glides his fingers beneath the shirt to stroke my skin.

I can’t believe I’m thinking this, but I missed his clinginess.

“Bet if I kissed you a little bit, you’ll get in the mood right away. Want to test it?”


“Baby, please?” He speaks against my lips and presses his chest to mine.

I breathe heavily even as I plant both hands on his chest. “We already went three rounds.”

“I can do ten. I can’t get enough of you. How about this? Let’s bet how many times I can make you come.”


“Your body and mouth sing a very different tune. Your push-and-pull game is spot on.” He darts out his tongue and licks my bottom lip and it trembles beneath his touch. “Did you play it with others before me?”

“No…” I’m surprised my voice comes out steady.

“Because you didn’t want them, but you want me?”

“Shut up.”

“Since when did you start to want me?” he whispers against my ear. “Was it when I pinned you down in the forest? Or was it after you sat on my lap?”

“You wish.”

“Mmm.” He bites on the shell of my ear and I let out a groan. “I love that I’m the only one who sees you like this, all hot and bothered and fucking mine.”

I sink my fingers in his silky strands and tug his head back so that I’m looking down on him. “You’re mine, not the other way around.”

“It’s not a competition. I can be yours while you’re mine.” He grins. “Love these sudden bursts of possessiveness, baby. You better not have had them with others.”

“Hypocritical much? You literally shag everyone.”

“Not everyone… Well, I’m open, I guess, but that was in the past. I’m no longer a manwhore, I swear on Kolya’s honor.”

I fist his hair tighter. “Who the hell is Kolya?”

“Hi, lotus flower.” He rubs his erection against mine. “My name is Kolya and I’m obsessed with your huge cock and beautiful ass.”

I burst out laughing. I can’t help it. “You named your dick?”

“Everyone does.”

“No, they don’t.”

“Yes, they do.”

“If you say so. Why Kolya?”

“That’s the Russian diminutive form of my name. No one but my grandpa and my dad’s side of the family uses it, though.”

“And how long has Kolya been active?”

“Since I was five?”

“Please don’t tell me you had sex at five.”

“No. I had my first gorgeous boner then. Didn’t go well with my mom and everyone in the house when I ran around naked showing it to everyone and pretending it was a gun.”

I chuckle. “Why can I imagine that?”

“You also think it was hilarious, right? I was seriously proud. Only Dad backed up my shenanigans.”

“He seems cool.”

“Coolest dad ever. Before I hit puberty, he sat me down and said, ‘You’re about to go on that adventure you’ve waited for since you were five. Now is the time you can actually use your dick as a gun. Do your thing, son. Just use protection and don’t make me a grandpa.’”

“How…did he take your sexuality? If you came out to them.” I pause. “If you don’t mind me asking?”

“I don’t mind any of your questions, baby. Seriously, stop being annoyingly British. To answer you, I didn’t have to come out. Mom and Dad walked in on me fucking a guy and kissing a girl at fifteen. They were shocked, but not in a judgmental way. Mom already felt I liked guys since I’d wink at them like I did girls. She just wasn’t sure. Dad…well, he was like, ‘Of course you would like the variety. It wouldn’t be you otherwise.’ Then he hugged me and whispered, ‘You better use protection and not make me a grandfather when I’m this young, motherfucker. I mean it.’ He’s effortlessly hilarious, my dad. Oh, he’s also British.”


“Well, he has a complicated family history and he definitely has Russian blood, but he was raised in the UK and speaks in your accent.”

“What’s his name?”

“Kyle Hunter.”

“Hmm. I think I might’ve heard of him in Grandpa’s circle. Wait. Your last name is Sokolov, not Hunter.”

“It’s after Mom. Since Dad had a few last names and Mom’s last name belongs to Russian Bratva royalty, they decided to give it to their children. Nikolai Sokolov is actually my late great-grandfather’s name. I’m his gorgeous incarnation.”

I smile and shake my head. “I’m glad your family is acceptant despite, well, being in the mafia.”

“Mom and Dad are. My aunt and uncle—Kill and Gareth’s parents—too. Everyone else…meh, they’re still backward. I wouldn’t take a guy to meet my grandpa or uncles, for instance. That’d just turn ugly and no one needs that.”

“Does that mean you took a guy to meet your parents?”

“Does it count when they walk in on me? Because that was the only meetings that happened.”

“Jesus. You have more sex than Zeus.”

“Who’s that? A porn star?”

“Please tell me you’re kidding.”

He squints. “Pretty sure I’ve heard about him before. Is he an actor?”

“He’s a Greek god.”

“And he was a porn star?”

“No. He just…let’s say he shagged a lot. Like you.”

“Don’t be jealous, baby.”

“I am not.”

“Well, I am.”

“Of who?”

“Fucking Clara and everyone who saw you naked.”

“You need help.” I suppress a smile. “You’re the one who’s had more sex than me.”

“Yeah, but I’ve never had a relationship and I don’t feel fucking murderous about them like I do with you.”

My lips part and I clear my throat. “My relationships were a façade. I never…cared about them.”

“And you care about me?”

“Shut up.” I wiggle free of his hold. “I’m going to sleep.”

“Wait for me!”

A huge body slams into mine, crashing me into the bed. I groan as I try to push him off me, but it’s impossible.

Partly because I don’t want his weight gone.

Nikolai lays his head on my chest, wraps his arm around my middle, and throws his leg over mine.

“You’re not going anywhere anymore.” He kisses my Adam’s apple. “Night, baby.”

A lump constricts my breathing and I can’t swallow past it as I stare sideways to find his face buried in my neck, his hair falling on the pillow.

His breathing soon evens out and I smile to myself.

Didn’t he say he doesn’t sleep in a bed?

I stroke his arm and kiss the top of his head. “Night, Niko.”

When I wake up, I realize two things.

One, somewhere in the middle of the night, our positions changed, and right now, my head is on Nikolai’s chest as he hugs me to him, his tattooed arm thrown over my middle—beneath my shirt—and his leg is between mine.

Two, if the clock on the nightstand that shows seven a.m. is correct, then I fucked up.

For the first time in eight years, I didn’t wake up at five. I don’t even do alarm clocks anymore. I am the clock. I always wake up at five. I always run at five thirty.

Not today.

I shattered my holy routine, and now, all the chaos will come rushing in.

What the fuck have I done?

Panic sobers me up in an instant and all the sleep haze disappears.

I start to get up, but Nikolai shoves me back down in his embrace.

His fingers spread on my back and he strokes the skin as he murmurs in a husky tone, “Ten more minutes.”

My exhales are fractured and choppy, and I’m forced to breathe in his body wash. I’m surrounded by his all-encompassing warmth, and it calms me down, for a very strange reason.

I shift and tilt my head to stare up at his face.

“Don’t go,” he lets out in a sleepy rumble.

And my heart swells so much, I’m surprised it doesn’t burst.

How can I go when he’s asking like that?

I caress his sharp jaw, swiping my thumb on his lower lip, and Nikolai releases a blissful moan that tucks its way between my bones.

His eyes slowly open, and I swear I can hear the shatter somewhere inside me when he grins. “Morning, baby.”


“Morning,” I whisper, not trusting my voice or myself at this moment.

I try to get up and he tugs me down again. “Let’s cuddle some more.”

“You like cuddling?”

“With you, I do.”

“Is that supposed to make me feel special?”

“You know you are. You don’t need me to stroke your ego more.”

I smile. “Come on. I’ll make us breakfast.”

“Ten minutes.”

“I already missed my morning run. I don’t want to miss class.”

“It’s okay to miss a run. It’s not the end of the world.”

It is to me.

“I like my life in order.”

“Too bad I’m in it.”

“Does that mean you admit you’re chaotic?”

“Never denied it. I love corrupting you.”

“More like I’m leading you to the right path.”

He bursts out laughing, the sound husky and rich. “Good fucking luck trying.”

“I’m nothing if not up for a little challenge.”

“You mean huge.”

It’s my turn to chuckle and he pulls me closer against him, pressing my chest to his, tightening his hand on my back as if he’s scared I’ll disappear or something.

“Nikolai. You need to let me go.”

“Five minutes.”

“Fine.” I trace my fingers over his tattoos and stop when I reach a blank spot near his left pectoral muscle. “Is there a reason why you left this place empty?”

“Oh, that. It’s on my heart so I want to wait until I can think of something extra special.”

“Does that mean you plan to be covered in ink?”

“Fuck yeah. I have a lot of space on my back and thighs. Maybe you can sketch me something.”

“You’d want that?”

“Why not? You’re an artist, right?”

“I do landscapes.”

“I’m sure you can think of something as unique as me.”

“Your arrogance is astounding.”

“Don’t act like you don’t love it.” He strokes the back of my neck. “Have you ever thought about getting a tattoo?”

“No. I don’t like them on me. I prefer to leave my skin unblemished.”

“You’re so prim and proper.”

“Not all of us can wear tattoos. They look good on you, though.”

“Did you just admit to liking my tattoos?”

“I didn’t say I like them.”

“Fuck me. You do. You’re blushing, baby.”

“You’re dreaming.” I push away, and this time, I manage to disentangle myself. “I’m going to make breakfast.”

“Aw, don’t be shy. Come here.” He opens both arms, grinning like an idiot as I stride to the bathroom.

I manage to wash my face and brush my teeth without looking in the mirror, but I have to escape Nikolai again when he tries to grope me on my way out.

He’s seriously impossible.

Since there are virtually no groceries, I manage to make scrambled eggs and I stumble upon a half-eaten box of macarons and put the rest on a plate. He only knows how to buy pastries like a sweet-toothed monster.

I’m pouring water in the kettle for morning tea when a heavy arm wraps around my middle, a large chest presses to my back. Nikolai drops a kiss to my throat over a hickey he left last night before he rests his chin on my shoulder. “Can’t we go back to bed?”

“Stop being a baby and let me go. I can’t do anything when you’re all over me.”

“That’s the point.”

I lift the plate of confection and he grins, instantly releasing me to grab it.


He’s so easy to read, it’s heartwarming. Nikolai might be notoriously violent and a crass heathen, but he’s actually a staggeringly simple man, and I love that about him. I’m complicated enough for the both of us.

Pushing up against the counter beside me, he crunches two macarons in one go. He’s only in boxer briefs, his large muscles on full display and his hair falling in smooth waves to his shoulders. Honestly, I’m not complaining. It’s always a feast to look at him this way and know he’s all mine. This monster of a man belongs to me.

“Lotus flower?”

“Hmm?” I click the kettle and retrieve two tea bags.

Nikolai never liked tea before, but when I offer him a cup, he drinks without moaning about it. I’m converting him slowly but surely.

“I’m going to ask you a serious question.”


“You said you were in love once. Who were you in love with?”

“Huh?” I stare at him as if he’s grown two heads.

“That day during that never have I ever game. You took the shot when Kill said ‘never have I ever been in love.’ Who stole your heart? I want to know.”


He looks so serious and wounded, I want to kiss him.

So I do. My lips seal to his and I swipe the crumbs of the disgustingly sweet macarons from his lips. “I lied. I was never in love.”

His smile is blinding and he licks his lips as if chasing away mine, then he frowns. “Why did you lie?”

“You were looking at me weird.”

“How weird?”

“Like you wanted to devour me on the spot.”

“I always wanted to devour you, baby.”

“Oh, really? I must’ve missed that.”

“Christ. Was that sarcasm again?”

I grab the kettle and pour water into two mugs. “Make yourself useful and help me set up the table.”

“Give me another kiss first.”

I fist his hair and shove him toward me, then claim his mouth in a slow, sensual kiss, twisting his tongue and tasting the sweetness.

Kissing him outside of sex is different. New. It makes my chest hurt and my brain fog up, but I was always a sucker for pain.

When I release him, he groans. “Mmm. From now on, I’m going to need you to kiss me good morning this way.”

I release him with a push. “Go.”

“Okay, going, going.” He smacks my arse on his way to the opposite counter.


He just grins and rummages through almost all the cupboards until he finally finds two damn knives and forks.

I end up doing most of the work because the way he messes everything up drives me bonkers.

Once we sit down, I sip my English Breakfast tea and go through an e-newspaper on my phone while Nikolai devours the macarons like a monster.

“Who are you texting?” he asks after he swallows.

“Not texting. Reading the news.”


“Because I like to stay informed about what’s happening in the world.”

“But what’s the point?”

“Seriously? You don’t care?”

“Would it change something if I did?”

“Doing something is better than doing nothing.”

“Is that why you participate in all that volunteer work?”

“Yeah. I was born into a life of privilege and I try to help those who weren’t as lucky.”

“Hmm. What about lacrosse? Why do you play it?”

I put my phone down and take a sip of my tea. “I’m good at it.”

“And that’s enough reason to play it?”

“I suppose.”

“I used to play football in high school, but I didn’t only do it because I was good at it. I loved the adrenaline.”

“American football, I presume.”

“The only football.”

“The only football is the one kicked by an actual foot and is the most popular sport in the world.”

He shrugs. “You mean soccer?”

“Don’t call it that in my presence. Disgusting.”

He chuckles, the sound echoing around us with rare ease, and I can’t resist smiling.

I woke up this morning thinking my life would be flipped upside down because I missed the most important part of my routine, but it’s not as apocalyptic as I thought it’d be.

If anything, I like the easy conversation we have.

“Seriously, though. Do you really like lacrosse?” he insists.

“I wouldn’t play it if I didn’t.”

Though the actual reason is that it’s the only sport Lan didn’t play. We used to play polo together when we were growing up, but I distanced myself from that and him as soon as I hit puberty.

I needed to play something he had no interest in. Football, cricket, and my beloved polo were out. Rugby is too physical for my taste. So that left me with lacrosse.

But I don’t say that out loud. I can’t have Nikolai sensing my inferiority complex and thinking I’m less perfect.

He’s watching me with those intense eyes and I don’t like it. I need to change the subject so the focus is on him.

“Hey, Nikolai.”


“If you could be anywhere in the world, where would you go?”

“Inside you, baby.”

I nearly choke on my tea. “I’m serious.”

“I’m also serious. I take Kolya’s demands to heart, thank you very much.”

Lifting the cup to my mouth, I pause before I take a sip. “You said you always top. Did you ever consider bottoming?”

“Why?” He raises a brow. “You want to fuck me?”

I can feel the heat rising to my cheeks and I gulp the tea trapped in my mouth. “That’s not what I meant. I was just asking.”

“I don’t like it, but I’d let you if you wanted to try it out.”

“But you just said you don’t like it.”

“I’d rather let you fuck me than you running off to experiment with someone else.”

My lips part. Wow. He’d really go that far for me?

I don’t think about it as I stand up, close the distance between us, and stop between his parted thighs. My fingers sneak beneath his jaw and I look down at his beautiful eyes. “I don’t want to fuck you. But thank you for offering. Really.”

His hands land on my hips. “Tell me if you feel like it. Don’t suppress it just because you know I’m not a fan.”

“You don’t have to worry about that. I really prefer being fucked by you. I like the feeling of…uh, letting go and losing control.”

“You sure?”


He tugs me forward and I release a startled noise when I land on his lap. My hands grab his shoulders for balance. “What are you doing?”

“I lied. I don’t only want a morning kiss.” His lips ghost over mine. “I need a morning fuck as well.”

This man will fucking destroy me.

I just hope I don’t destroy him in the process.


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