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God of Fury – Chapter 31

NIKOLAI

The past week has been a red mist.

No. Black would be a more accurate fucking description.

With everything that imploded back home, I had to go to the States and assess the fuckery for myself. As if everything wasn’t already fucked up, I also had to clash with none other than Landon—also known as the reason behind every fucked-up emotion I’ve been experiencing over the past couple of weeks.

The reason why Bran has been completely ignoring me.

Let’s just say Landon said I shouldn’t mention anything about his impromptu visit to my parents. I still hate the fucking guy and I’d rather see him burn at the stake than be with my sister, but I don’t really have a choice after he saved her from certain death.

Motherfucking fucker even managed to stop raising Dad’s hackles. My. Dad. As in the man who brought me up to be the twins’ second watchdog after himself.

A lot of fuckery happened, including many familial conversations and disturbing revelations. Through it all, I couldn’t be fully present, not when I’d left my fucking heart on the island. I returned as soon as I could, but it turned out Bran wasn’t there all along.

I had to get information about his whereabouts through Kill and Jer because Glyn and Cecily were mad at me. Probably because of the part I played in the beating up of Landon.

Let the record show that I’d do it again in a heartbeat. Though maybe I wouldn’t threaten his precious fucking wrist. Just damage his face so he no longer resembles the most beautiful man on earth.

Said man looks at me as if I’m a barbarian walking into his empire with primitive weapons and the intention of burning down his forts.

He’s not mistaken.

I have to exercise self-control I don’t actually have to not jump him and bruise those parted lips, tug them between my teeth, and devour them with my tongue.

We have company. Chill, Kolya. Just fucking chill. This behavior wouldn’t work in your favor.

Bran straightens to his full height, his surprised expression slowly fading as he wears his control like armor.

My gaze greedily takes in the cold lines of his face, the muted blue of his eyes, the slight tic in his sharp jawline, and the unfortunate absence of my mark on his unblemished neck.

A few chaotic brown strands fall on his forehead, half damp as if he just walked out of the shower. If I inhale deep enough, I can breathe the citrus and clover into my starved lungs.

My attention falls on his white polo T-shirt and how it stretches over his planes of muscles. It rides up as he slowly shuts the fridge, revealing his smooth abs and that delicious V-line that unfortunately disappears beneath his dark-blue pants.

He smiles at the man standing beside me, who looked at me like I’m a vicious stray dog trying to bite his master. If I wasn’t trying to get brownie points with Bran, I would’ve punched him in his standoffish face.

Violence doesn’t work with Bran. Violence. Does. Not. Work.

If I keep repeating that, maybe I’ll forget about my fists enough to not start a fight.

“Thank you, Nolan. I’ll take it from here.” He speaks in a collected voice that destroys any of my feeble attempts to remain civil.

How dare he be so unaffected when I’ve barely been able to breathe properly since he’s been gone?

I crunched more pills than I have in my entire life just to bring myself down from the high. So that I could see him without being weirded out about the fact that I could hurt him.

Even Mom, who’s Team Pills, was worried shitless about the very possibility that I’d overdose on the fuckers and hid them away from me.

“Are you sure?” Fucker Nolan gives me a judgmental once-over although I’m fully fucking dressed, even wore a damn leather jacket over my T-shirt to hide the tattoos.

He pales at my glare that must say, ‘I’ll fuck up your face right here and now,’ then focuses back on Bran.

“Yeah. Go ahead.”

Nolan gives him another uncertain look before he nods and walks away without a sound like a fucking creep.

“What the fuck are you doing here?” Bran snaps, and although his voice is firm and low, I revel at watching the cracks in his control.

That’s it. Break for me, baby.

“What does it look like I’m doing?” I stride toward him, unable to resist his gravitational presence. “I came to see you since you didn’t bother to answer my texts or calls.”

“That was answer enough. I had no desire or intention of getting in contact with you. As I previously told you. We are done.”

“As I previously told you. In your fucking dreams.” My voice lowers as I stand toe-to-toe with him, caging him against the counter.

His heat penetrates my skin and melts away the ice that’s been enveloping me since he’s been out of my sight.

God damn.

I missed his comforting heat and that look in his eyes. Maybe the reason I’ve been on that high longer than usual is because I didn’t have him. He has a way of grounding me, pulling me down when I go up.

Since he came into my life, I haven’t gone on self-destructive sprees—except the last few weeks.

In the past, I couldn’t care less about whether or not I survived the violence and the mayhem. Now is different.

Now, the thought of being without him terrifies me. Death terrifies me because it would take me away from him.

I’m never leaving him again. Not even if I have to inhale pills and turn into the zombie I despise for it.

Bran crosses his arms over his chest, not giving an inch as his features freeze into cold indifference, but I don’t miss the clench in his jaw.

“Can’t take no for an answer? Pathetic.”

“Then I’m pathetic. Who fucking cares? Oh, wait. You do.”

He releases cruel laughter that’s so uncharacteristic of him. He’s an asshole, but never mocking. Condescending, but not evil. “If you think I ever cared about you, then you’re sorely mistaken. It was just physical, remember? Like how you fucked me against the tree and left without a look back, then proceeded to threaten my brother’s whole future because of your nonsensical pride.”

My molars grind together and I have to bite my tongue to keep from shouting that he’s mine and he needs to deal with it.

But how dare he?

How fucking dare he say it was just physical?

He and I were never just physical, not the first time I kissed him or the last time I fucked him or anytime in-between. And he knows that.

He better well fucking know that and just be trying to summon the asshole energy in himself.

“Your brother’s wrist is just fine,” I grit out.

Now, that gets him pissed. And I mean fucking shaking pissed. Red blotches cover his pale skin and his eyes turn a shade darker, nearly shooting laser beams at my face.

That’s it, baby. Show me the side no one else sees.

He uncrosses his arms and jams his index finger against my chest, and is it wrong that I’m loving his touch even if he’s nearly boiling over with rage?

“That’s not the fucking point!”

“Then what is?”

“The fact that you kidnapped him and beat him up in the first place.”

“He had it coming when he messed with my fucking sister.”

“You were messing with his fucking brother!”

“I never forced you.”

“And you think he forced her? If you weren’t so up your own arse, you would’ve seen the way she looks at him. She loves him, Nikolai. She’s in love with him. And you might not want to believe this, but he loves her, too, in his own fucked-up way.”

I bite my tongue again, this time due to the images I came back with from the States. A part of me refuses to subscribe to the very foundation of that idea, but he’s right. Annoyingly so.

“Okay.”

His finger falls from my chest as the anger melts at the edges, replaced by bemusement. “Okay?”

“Yeah, okay. I was home and Landon was also there, trying to woo my parents.”

By the grimace on his face, he knows very well that the scenario I just described is a recipe for disaster. That’s the difference between Landon and Bran. The psycho just pushes through everything and hopes for the best. My lotus flower is much more calculated and gets off on control. He’d never make a decision before he mulls it over.

I can’t believe I’m thinking this, but I really wish he was a bit like his brother sometimes. Not his character—fucking revolting—but the way he lets himself loose.

“What did he do?” he asks carefully. “Did you get into a fight again?”

“No.”

“You mean to tell me you were in the same room with Lan and didn’t punch him?”

“I would’ve loved to.”

“Then why didn’t you? I’m pretty sure your punch-first-think-later mentality wasn’t the reason you restrained yourself.”

“No, it wasn’t. But I knew if I hurt him again, I’d lose you, and that’s not a fucking option.”

His lips part and I want to bite the bottom one beneath my teeth and feast on him, swallow him whole, and fuck this morbid tension out of the both of us.

But then he opens his stupid fucking mouth. “Too bad. You already lost me.”

I plant my palms on the counter on either side of him and lean into his face until he has no choice but to step back or let me kiss him.

He goes for the former, but that leaves him trapped between me and the counter.

“Want to test that, baby?” I invade his space until my lips are mere inches away from his.

“Back off,” he orders in that bossy tone that gets my dick all twitchy.

“Not in this lifetime.”

He jacks his forearm against my throat, nearly crushing my windpipe as his eyes shine with dangerous anger and uncontainable lust. “Don’t even think about touching me.”

“You’re the one who’s doing that. Can’t keep your hands off me, baby?”

“I’m pushing you away.”

“Still counts. Mmm. I missed the feel of your skin on mine.”

“You’re fucking crazy.”

“About you. Always.”

“Nikolai…”

“Yes, baby?”

He expels a long breath and I inhale it deep into my lungs. Herbal tea and honey. Of course he’ll have tea first thing in the morning, my Prince Charming.

“Listen, you bloody twat.” His voice is deep and firm, oozing command. “You don’t get to ignore me, pretend I don’t exist, then proceed to hurt my brother after I basically begged you not to and waltz back into my life as if nothing happened.”

“I’m not pretending it didn’t. I’m just saying I’m in your life despite everything that happened. And I didn’t ignore you because I wanted to. I was on my high and things would’ve turned ugly if I came close, especially with the shit with Landon. I punched you, Bran.”

“You didn’t mean to.”

“I still don’t like it. I hate the very idea of hurting you, even unintentionally. I was haunted for weeks by the sight of the blood that gushed out of your nose. I’m so sorry. I’ll never let myself do that again. That night in front of the Elites’ mansion was enough proof that I had no control and was capable of hurting you. Also, I could never pretend you don’t exist, motherfucker. You’re everywhere like goddamn air.”

His grip loosens a little, giving me more room to breathe. “You could’ve told me.”

“Like you so readily told me about the cuts?”

A line appears between his brows and he breathes harsher, his chest rising and falling with difficulty, but he has no reply, because even his hypocritical analogy doesn’t make sense.

“Now, you listen to me, motherfucker.” I wrap a hand around his throat. “You don’t get to hide from me and demand to know me. You don’t get to bury yourself six feet deep and think you can still read me like a book. If I’m splitting myself open for you and allowing you to see parts of me no one else is privy to, you need to do the same. You owe me that fucking much.”

His lips are set in a line and I expect him to refuse or flash me his surprisingly devastating anger, but he releases a sigh. “Are you really going to let go of the Landon thing?”

“I should’ve listened to you and exchanged you for Mia. You can say I told you so.”

“No, Nikolai. I don’t derive pleasure from seeing you hurt or conflicted, and I know how much you love your sister. But it’s hypocritical to want Lan away from her while insisting on having me. Lan is my twin brother and he will always be a massive part of my life. You can’t, under any circumstances, make me choose. I need you to understand that.”

“I get it. I’m sorry.”

His expression softens. “Apology accepted. You’ll try not to punch him next time you see him?”

“Yeah. Not sure he’ll do the same, though.”

“What did you do now?”

“Me? He’s the one who threatened me in my own fucking house. He said, and I quote, ‘I’ve seen the way you look at my brother, you uncultured swine, and I’m telling you right now that if you come near him, I’ll break your fucking legs.’”

Bran’s face pales. “He…knows?”

“I didn’t say anything. I promise.”

He shakes his head, a pained expression crossing his features. “You didn’t have to.”

“You hate that?”

“I wouldn’t say I hate it… I’m just trying to figure out why he hasn’t said anything to me. Is he also waiting?”

“Waiting for what?”

“It’s nothing.”

“Brandon,” I grit out, and he looks at me with…disappointment? Pain?

“What?” he asks in a hurt tone.

“I hate the word nothing. It’s at the top of my shit list with fine and sorry.”

“Well, I hate it when you call me by my full name, too.”

Fuck me.

His lower lip pushes slightly forward in a little pout and I can’t help the feeling of complete adoration that floods me.

He’s so goddamn cute for an asshole.

“Won’t happen again, baby.” I cup his nape and crash my lips to his.

Bran gasps and I swallow the sound the fuck up. My tongue pushes past his teeth, only to be met by his eager one. A growl spills from me as he clenches his fingers in my hair and switches us around so that my back hits the counter and he’s the one crowding me, breathing the intense, angry passion through me.

Our mouths war as I flip him again, forcing him to gobble down the taste of my aggression that only he can tame.

God-fucking-damn-it. I missed him.

I want the madness, the pressure, the war. I want all of him in me. Bleeding inside me. Breaking apart for me.

“Don’t ever do that again.” He pants against my lips, his fingers pulling on my hair until it’s painful. “Don’t you fucking dare walk away from me or ghost me. I don’t give a fuck if you’re on a high or a murder spree. I couldn’t care less if you hurt me. You don’t come to me when you’re only okay, you come to me at all times. Am I fucking understood?”

I lick his bottom lip then bite down. “You don’t hide from me, either. I want you raw. Am I fucking clear?”

His hot breath whooshes out in harsh pants against my mouth. “What if you don’t like what you see?”

“Not sure if you noticed it, but I like everything about you—your control-freak tendencies and nagging included.”

I’m about to seal that with another kiss when I register commotion behind me.

While I don’t usually stop when there’s an audience, this isn’t just anyone. It’s my Bran.

It takes me a godly amount of effort to release him and step back.

Bran looks at me with unconcealed disappointment as he’s forced to let me go. I quickly wipe his mouth with the sleeve of my jacket, but I’m afraid nothing can hide his swollen lips.

Or mine.

Christ.

I’m thinking of the best way to deal with that, but it’s too late.

Bran’s eyes grow in size as an older male voice booms in the air. “Morning, Princess.”

“More like night,” a feminine voice says, followed by a yawn.

I turn around so that I’m standing beside Bran as I watch an older version of him with blond hair wrapping an arm around the waist of a smaller woman who creepily resembles Glyn.

He smiles at her as they walk to the kitchen. “Son, are you up—”

His voice is cut off when he lifts his head and notices me standing beside his son.

When I took the first flight from the States, I hadn’t had much sleep. My only thought was to get Bran back, so don’t expect me to have had the foresight to realize I’d actually see his parents.

And judging by his father’s hardening features, I would say it’s not going well.

An idea pops into my head and I’m actually goddamn proud of how quick-witted I am.

“Hi, good morning,” I say with my most welcoming smile that I only show my parents. “I’m Bran’s friend from school.”

His mom smiles. “Are you, by any chance, Nikolai?”

I steal a glance at Bran. Did he mention me?

Jesus Christ. Am I supposed to be this happy that he said my name in front of his parents?

And why is he not freaking out like whenever we’re in the same public place?

If anything, his expression is peaceful.

This is starting to creep me the fuck out.

So imagine my fucking surprise when he threads his fingers through mine and smiles at his parents. “Yeah, Mum. This is Nikolai and he’s more than just a friend.”


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