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God of Ruin: Chapter 10

MIA

I knew I was in trouble when Landon’s pretentious car pulled up to the abandoned house, its gates creaking open to reveal a nightmare I couldn’t escape.

The goosebumps and tingles that snaked through my body shrivel to a slow death as the old castle-like building materializes in front of me.

It looks straight out of a medieval war—one that didn’t go so well for whoever protected whatever this place.

The gray walls have nearly turned green with the smudges left by nature. Brittle leaves rustle in the wind, their jagged edges scraping against the blurry windows like the claws of a desperate animal.

The only new element in the property’s immediate surroundings is the refurbished massive black gate that Landon drives through.

Even though the car remains steady, I can see the uneven, rutty road. The trees either have branches that resemble a witch’s bony hand or contain so many intertwined leaves, you can’t tell where one ends and the other begins.

The beds of flowers have withered to their tragic death, leaving gruesome skeletons in their wake. A grim stench reeks from every nook of this house that could serve as a den of ghosts and paranormal creatures.

The car comes to a slow halt near the front door. That is, if the old wooden shape with metal strips can be called a door.

“What do you think?”

I startle at the sudden appearance of Landon near my ear. The asshole moves like an evil snake, without making any sound whatsoever.

“About what? The poor imitation of a haunted house?” I pretend to be completely unaffected, although my stomach twists into a thousand knots.

“No imitation in sight.” His hot breath skims along the shell of my ear as his hand grips my thigh tighter. “This is an actual haunted house. It is said that its previous owner became unstable due to the horrors of the war and cast a spell on the place. Ever since then, his family members have met tragic deaths, and anyone who enters never comes out of it sane.”

“That explains your personality, then,” I sign with a sweet smile.

He chuckles, his chest rumbling against the side of my arm. And just like that, the tingles and goosebumps resurrect from the ashes as if they were never slaughtered.

“Stop being so hot.” He bites the shell of my ear. Like he did last night. Only, now, it’s more intimate and provokes a throbbing between my inner thighs.

My nails dig into my palm, but I have no clue how to react to the strong physical reaction building inside me.

Then, as if to make matters worse, he licks the spot he bit and I have to clamp my lips shut to keep from making any noises.

As easily and fast as he touched me, he releases me. “Now, come out.”

Just like that, he steps out of the car, leaving me in a heap of cryptic emotions.

It takes me a few seconds to gather my wits. I need to snap out of it. Since I’ve found myself in this situation anyway, might as well give Landon a taste of his own medicine so he regrets messing with me.

Armed with my new resolve, I push the door open and step out, chin held high and my nose nearly touching the sky.

The sudden chill causes more goosebumps to erupt on my skin, but part of that has to do with my company tonight.

Landon is waiting for me with that irritating smirk and amusement glinting in his deep blues. The color of an angry ocean and a midnight sky.

The color of my worst nightmares as well.

“You’re not a delicate princess, after all. I’m impressed.”

“Impressing you is the last item on my agenda.”

“And yet you’re doing it so well, I almost doubt it’s on purpose. You know, like when you crashed my party and seduced me in the bathroom.”

“That was only so I could distract you, and it worked.” I sigh, shaking my head. “Men.”

“What was that?”

“Men are so simple, no matter how grandiose they think they are.” I jut my chin in his direction. “You’re part of the herd, Mr. I’m Smarter Than You And Your Entire Bloodline.”

“I am smarter than you and your entire bloodline, or you wouldn’t be here, in the palm of my hand, exactly how I planned it.”

“I’m in no one’s palm. And the only reason I’m here is because you threatened my sister. I wouldn’t have given you the time of the day under different circumstances.”

“But you are giving me the time of the day.”

“Unwillingly.”

“Doesn’t matter.”

“My free will doesn’t matter?”

“The excuses you offer your mind don’t. I have no interest in participating in whatever lies you tell yourself to convince your brain that you’re not remotely attracted to me. Unlike you, I don’t sugarcoat the truth.”

He reaches into his pocket and retrieves a key that looks like one of those enchanted treasure findings and uses it to open the door.

It creaks and squeaks like a dying person’s attempt to resurrect.

My spine jerks into a line at the graphic noise, but I still wear the mask of indifference. Or I hope I do as I carefully follow the beast into his lair.

The inside isn’t any better than the outside. Upon entry, I’m hit by the musty smell of the decaying building. The wind howling through the trees outside sounds ten times louder inside.

Grim, somber medieval stairs greet us in the middle of the foyer. There’s a sofa and a few chairs that have lost their color, appearing pale pink instead of what I assume was once bright orange.

The wooden flooring is chipped everywhere, and the few intact pieces look older than the British monarchy. It creaks every time we take a step. While I’m careful, Landon walks with a sense of pride that’s completely uncalled for.

My gaze strays to the open door to the left—probably a kitchen or a dining room. No matter how much I search for signs of life, this place seems more dead than my voice.

Whatever angle you look at it from, it’s too shabby, messy, and underwhelming to fit someone as elegant and well-kept as Landon.

As much as I hate the asshole, he is illegally good-looking and has the charisma of a model in anything he wears. Even earlier in a hoodie and sunglasses, many stared at him, whispering to each other as if he were a celebrity.

Of course, the bastard basked in every second of the attention he got, despite trying not to get on my brother’s and cousins’ radar.

Landon is not only a psychopath but also a raging narcissist.

Psychopaths are born not made. I wonder what type of gene pool resulted in his existence and why he turned out like this when Bran is one of the best people I’ve met?

Wait…why am I curious about the asshole? I don’t give two hecks about him and his warped psychology.

“It is said that the lady of the house fell down these very stairs and broke her neck.” His sudden hot words in my ear make me shudder.

I jump away. “Stop doing that.”

“Doing what?”

“Whispering in my ear from behind like a creep.”

“How else will I have you tremble against me? I love your innocent reactions that are in clear contradiction with your bad-girl image. Heads-up, I will provoke it whenever I get the chance. Unless…” he trails off and tilts his head. “You’re down for getting on your knees and closing those lips around my cock?”

“No.”

“Worth a try.” He kills the distance between us and places a hand at the small of my back close to my ass, probably trying to intimidate me with his physical presence.

“Can’t you tell me to walk without touching me?”

“But you feel so perfect in my hand. It’s a waste not to touch you.”

I shake my head and choose to drop it. If I go down that road, it’ll only get worse, and it’s just not a battle worth pursuing.

He promenades me around the war-like foyer as if he’s showing his most prized possessions. He stops by the pale pink sofa. “This is where the ghost sits. It’s probably watching us as we speak and putting a curse on you.”

“Why wouldn’t it put it on you instead?”

“Maybe it already did and I’m a product of its curse that’s tasked with devouring you alive and sucking you dry.”

“Save it.” I side-eye him. “I don’t believe in ghosts.”

“Oh? Why not?”

“Real monsters are scarier and a lot more common than invisible paranormal creatures.”

“Interesting. Is one of those monsters the reason why you don’t talk?”

I freeze and throw him a questioning look.

“What? You thought I planned your demise without looking into your past?”

I purse my lips. What does the bastard know? He couldn’t have possibly dug up much since my parents are powerful enough to seal that part of my life.

He’s bluffing. He has to be.

Landon seems completely oblivious to my reaction as he leads me down a long corridor. What must’ve once looked like flowery wallpaper is nothing more than a faded beige vinyl now.

“It’s not that you’re a mute, it’s that you choose not to speak. I believe selective mute is the correct term. If you can speak, let me hear your voice.”

I elbow his side, forcing him to loosen his grip on my back, then sign, “What do you know about my life? What makes you think I can speak or that I even want to? And just so you know, if I do happen to talk—which isn’t possible by any stretch of the imagination, by the way—I’ll never let you hear it, asshole.”

“Never say never, little muse.”

“I’m not little. I happen to be only five years younger than you.”

“Aaaand your obsession with me continues.” He smiles, but there’s no amusement this time. Just the stark shadow of his calculation. “Tell me, what was the incident that took your voice away at eight years old? Your parents seem to have put a lot of effort into erasing it from everyone’s memories.”

I internally release a breath. So even Landon and his conniving ways haven’t managed to get any information. For the first time, I’m thankful to be a mafia princess and in possession of the Bratva’s and, most importantly, my parents’ protection.

“Ever wondered if it’s hidden because it’s none of your business?” I smile with enough sweetness to give diabetes a run for its money.

“I can get that information anyway, even if it takes a bit longer than I’d like it to. So how about you tell me yourself now and save us both the time and effort?”

“I’d like to see you try.”

His grin turns into one of demonic proportions. It’s like I provoked the decadent side of him that definitely gets off on the mention of a challenge. Just like Bran said.

He nudges me forward again until we arrive at another shabby door that he shoves open, and then he pushes me inside.

I stop near the entrance, my eyes adjusting to the darkness of the room. It’s a studio, I realize. Half-finished statues adorn the walls, some of them covered by white sheets. In the middle, there’s a chair and a workstation with equipment methodically aligned in perfectly horizontal rows. Double glass doors hint at a balcony on the opposite side that looks creepy.

Still, this room is by far the cleanest and newest in the house. The stained-glass windows are tinted with church-like paintings of some guys who are probably important, but I can’t name them to save my life.

The colorful lights cast a rainbow glow on the unfinished, disfigured statues. Some of them have faces and the others are missing features or even a whole body. Others are only torsos without a face.

“I thought you had a studio in the Elites’ mansion that’s protected by lock and key.”

“Take it easy on your obsession with me.”

My face heats, but I sign, “I only found that out in my attempts to sabotage you.”

“An obsession is still an obsession, no matter the reason. The fact that you’re stumbling to find an excuse is enough indication of the depth of your cute obsession. To answer your question, this is my second art studio, the third if we count the one at uni, but that one’s only for show since it’s shared with other students.”

“And this one?” I sign, then turn to the miserable statues. I don’t know why I feel sorry that they’ve been abandoned.

“This one is for the boring subjects that didn’t make the cut. I have a theory I want to prove.”

I turn to him with a questioning gaze, but my insides instantly knot into thick dread when my eyes lock with his.

Dark energy swirls in their depths, promising a taste of both danger and regret.

“Stand here for me and remain still. Like last night.”

“Why would I do that?”

“For the same reason you came here with me. To protect your precious family.”

I snarl and he merely smiles, then pats the top of my head as if I’m a pet. “Be good and no drastic measures will be taken.”

He walks to a half-faced statue and strokes the unfinished part with careful fingers, as if he doesn’t want to hurt a literal statue’s feelings. But why do I feel like, if given the chance, Landon wouldn’t hesitate to erase that statue as if it never existed?

After careful inspection, he lifts it effortlessly. Or more like, he makes it look easy. I can see his biceps flexing as a translation of his smashing power.

Landon might appear lean and definitely has fewer muscles than, say, Nikolai or Jeremy, but he’s still strong.

He deposits the statue on what looks like a sack of sand and sits on the chair opposite it.

He casts me a glance, throws a flirtatious wink, and then pulls out a cigarette and slides it to the corner of his lips. As he lights it, he fetches one of the countless tools and tosses it from one hand to the other as if testing its weight.

He puts it right back and retrieves another one that looks exactly the same to me, tosses it between his hands again, then inhales the smoke and releases a heavy cloud in the air.

I’ve never cared for the smell of cigarettes or smokers in general, but Landon makes it look hotter than it should be. It’s the blasé attitude and the confidence of a god that drips from his every movement.

With the cigarette hanging from his lips, he again strokes the statue, which I notice has generous breasts. He runs his fingers along the slope and then taps the nipple once.

Twice.

My body burns with unfamiliar scorching fire. His hand slides to her throat and I can feel the choker tightening around my own neck as if it’s his fingers.

What the hell?

His eyes flash to me and I stand still, scared to even breathe properly. The last thing I need is for Landon to think I find him attractive in any sense. He’s already conceited beyond belief.

“There. You’re such a good little muse.” His hand is still stroking and groping the statue as if it’s his lover.

“I’m just doing this out of necessity.”

“Are those words directed at me or yourself?”

He grins, and without waiting for my response, he gets to work. His fingers slowly but surely shape part of the statue’s head.

I’m struck by his expression when he creates. A stark difference from his usually mocking face. While sadism is still present, there’s also something different. I’ve never seen his eyes so light and engaged. They’re often half bored, as if the world holds no meaning to his immoral soul.

Now, however, he’s so far into his task that I don’t think he takes notice of how he seamlessly picks up tools or lights one cigarette after the other.

About an hour later, I’m getting tired of standing, so I attempt to lower myself into a sitting position.

“No.” He shakes his head, even though he hasn’t looked at me once since he started. “Don’t ruin it.”

“I’m tired,” I sign, but he’s still not looking at me. So I snap my fingers.

Nothing.

“Let’s take a break. Do you have anything to drink?” I ask, but his mind seems to be busy focusing on his fingers and the unmoving object in front of him.

“I’m going to rest for a while.” I start to sit down, but he stands up abruptly, making me stop dead in my tracks.

He’s looking at me now, but I wish he wasn’t. His dark blues are no different than a stormy ocean that’s about to swallow me in its depths. “I said don’t ruin it, didn’t I?”

“You’re not the one standing. It’s tiring and boring,” I sign with less bravado than usual.

“Come here.”

“Why?” I sign cautiously.

“You said you’re tired, so we’ll fix it.”

I remain rooted in place. I’d rather stay standing for another hour than get close to him.

“Don’t make me come get you, Mia.”

It’s the first time he’s said my name, and it sounds like a deep growl.

Slowly, I make my way to him, assuring myself I’ll claw his eyes out if he hurts me. I can also break his dick for humanity’s sake.

Once I’m next to the statue, Landon pulls me toward him so suddenly, I gasp.

The sound echoes around us as he pulls me down so I’m straddling with my back to his chest. I squirm when I feel the hard muscle beneath me. I’ve never made a habit of being this close to the opposite sex.

My previous encounters left something to be desired and the unshakable feeling that they were boys.

Landon, however, is all man. It’s not about the age, it’s the edge with which he carries himself. It’s the unapologetic way he touches me as if it’s his birthright.

“Don’t move,” he whispers in my ear, drawing goosebumps on my skin. “Don’t blame me for what happens if you do.”

His arm snakes around my waist and his palm cups the statue’s breast, fingers stroking the nipple.

I shudder, then curse myself. “Why do you keep doing that?”

“Shh, not a word.” He winks. “Unless you want to let me hear your voice?”

I give him the middle finger.

“That’s the last time you flip me off. Do it again and I will take matters into my own hands. Literally.”

He lights a cigarette and blows the smoke in my face like an asshole.

Soon after, his attention falls on the motionless statue. I’d feel sorry for her if she were a real person, but it’s better if he focuses on his art rather than me.

But with the damned position, I’m forced to breathe him in, the scent of man and intoxicating cologne. This close, I can’t help noticing just how well-built his face and physique are. Arguably as perfect as his beloved statues.

Too bad he’s as cold as them, too.

About twenty minutes later, I start fidgeting. It’s impossible to stay too long in one position. Unless I’m playing chess, and that’s definitely not the case right now.

It doesn’t help that I’m inexplicably drawn to Landon and keep telling myself I haven’t gone crazy yet.

“Stop shifting unless you’re trying to hump my leg. In that case, go for it.”

“I’ll hump your leg in hell, asshole,” I sign.

“Fine with me, little muse.”

“Why do you keep calling me that?”

“What?” he asks without looking at me.

“Muse. Why am I your muse?”

“Figures.” It’s a single word, but he says it with such nonchalance, as if it means nothing on his destruction curriculum for the day.

I lift my hand, but he gives me a look, to suggest I stop talking, no doubt. I’m so tempted to claw his gorgeous eyes out.

I try to remain still and chance taking out my phone. Landon doesn’t seem to notice, or he probably does but doesn’t care.

My attempts to relieve myself from the growing ache between my legs tether on the edge of failure with each brush of his arm against my side. The fanning of his breath against my cheek.

Inhaling deeply, I pull up Bran’s number and find his text from last night that I wasn’t in the right state of mind to read, let alone reply to.

Brandon: Have you gotten home safe? I’m here to help if your brother causes you trouble.

Mia: Hey! Sorry for the late reply. Yeah, I got home okay, and don’t worry about Niko. I know how to handle him.

His reply is immediate.

Brandon: Good to know. I was worried something might’ve happened to you.

Something happened all right, and I’m currently paying the price for it in Landon’s arms.

Mia: Hey, Bran. I know you’ve always mentioned I should stay away from Landon (not that I’m getting close to him or anything). Do you have any pointers on how to remove myself from his radar?

Brandon: The most important step is to never get on his radar in the first place. Once you’re there, it’s impossible to shake him off unless he willingly chooses to back off. Is he bothering you?

More like he’s sucking the life out of me.

I’m about to tell Bran not to worry so as not to drive a wedge between him and his twin, but the phone is snatched from between my fingers.

I stare into Landon’s displeased face and instinctively suck in a breath. The bastard has a mysterious power of making people feel uncomfortable with a single glance.

“Keep your attention on me when sitting on my lap.”

I can feel heat flaring up my neck, but I lift my chin. “I would’ve if you didn’t happen to bore me to tears.”

“And yet I can feel you dripping on my trousers.”

My mind goes blank. Did the earlier arousal somehow transform into something physical?

No, it can’t be possible.

Landon is just trying to get in my head. If I let him, he’ll swallow me whole and leave nothing but scattered bones.

“That’s not true,” I sign.

He methodically removes the cigarette from his mouth and stubs it in a makeshift ashtray made of clay.

Then he retrieves a wet wipe and cleans both his hands, enveloping me in an accidental hug.

He does it once.

Twice.

After the third time, he places the used wipe on top of the murdered cigarettes crowding the ashtray.

The arm that’s snaked around my back grips my waist, strong fingers digging into the flesh.

His other hand slides across my dress before he bunches it up, using one finger at a time as if he’s unwrapping a gift.

My heartbeat skyrockets and goosebumps cover other goosebumps on my flesh. The visual of his bigger, veiny hands—of course, the asshole possesses hands that are worthy of porn—on my paler flesh leaves me breathless.

Unlike earlier, his hand doesn’t stop at my thigh and, instead, travels up and up, leaving a mayhem of tingles in its wake.

A part of me knows I need to stop this. Grab his hand and kick him in the nuts for daring to touch me so intimately.

But the other part is enamored. Completely and utterly taken by the monster who’s triggering these emotions in me.

That part wants to see where this is going and how far I’ll fall.

How hard it will be.

The closest I’ve been to this was with Brian from high school. He was nice and I convinced myself that I liked him, but the moment he touched me, I realized just how much I’d fooled myself into wanting something I didn’t.

The brief encounter felt explorative, innocent, and mild. And that’s when I discovered those weren’t my flavor.

In contrast, there’s nothing innocent about Landon. His touch is claiming, savage, and nonnegotiable.

I’m literally being held by a beast who wouldn’t know what explorative or mild is, even if it hit him in the face.

And my body is reacting to it.

Damn me and my damaged brain.

“You’re trembling.” He buries his nose in my hair and ribbons, inhaling me while continuing his path. “Will you also be trembling while riding my cock? Or when I mess up these soft thighs with my cum?”

The temperature shoots up to three digits so fast, I’m whiplashed. I grab onto his shoulder to push him away, but I end up digging my fingers into his bicep as he slides his middle finger against my folds over my panties.

“So wet and throbbing, my little muse.” His finger strokes again, this time finding my clit.

I don’t know if it’s because of all the time I’ve been sitting on his lap or the fact that his touch has awakened a side of me I don’t recognize, but a needy sound leaves my throat.

“Impatient, too.” He slaps my pussy over the wet panties. “Your cunt is so pleased to meet my fingers, it’s soaking for my touch.”

I can feel the wetness seeping through as he circles my clit, and just when I fall for the feeling, he slaps my pussy again.

A gasp echoes in the air, but it’s interrupted when he pushes my panties to the side and thrusts two fingers inside me all at once.

The intrusion makes my legs shake so hard, I’d fall over if it weren’t for his steel arm around my waist.

He drives in and out a few times with a calculated rhythm. “So messy. We’re going to have to stretch this tight cunt a bit further so it’s ready for my cock.”

I don’t reply. All I can do is hold on to him as he scissors his fingers inside me. And then he angles his thigh and adds pressure to my starving clit with his thumb.

An electric shock shoots through my limbs. My toes curl and my body spasms in a series of involuntary reactions. It’s so sudden and powerful that I momentarily disconnect from my physical world.

As I’m coming down from the high, my limbs are numb, but Landon still has his fingers inside me.

He releases my waist and pulls one of my blue ribbons, forcing me to face him. I don’t even want to think about what my face looks like right now. I just want to run away and hide from the intense emotions I just experienced.

Landon, however, doesn’t seem to have the same plan. He licks the corner of my eye where involuntary moisture escaped and grins. “Now, you’ll shatter on my fingers all over again while looking at me.”

The bitter taste of panic fills my throat. What the hell did I just let him do?

Wait. Did I even allow him to?

You didn’t say no, idiot. You didn’t even push him away.

So I do. With all the strength I have, I punch him in the chest so hard, the chair squeaks beneath him. After I untangle myself from his hold, I do the one thing I should’ve done when I first saw Landon today.

I run.

His laughter echoes behind me like a dark, sinister promise.


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