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God of Ruin: Chapter 13

LANDON

I have ninety-nine problems, but popularity isn’t one of them.

Due to my charming personality, mouthwatering looks, and genius skills, I happen to attract a lot of attention.

But not all attention is good.

As is pointed out by my vice president of sorts in the Elites. Nila. And by vice president, I mean the one who does my bidding. I only gave her a title so I could manipulate her to the fullest. Like all the other members, her role is to be used as a dutiful pawn.

She’s short, packs more of a punch with her words than her fists, and likes to believe she has a spot on my small list of prodigies.

Now, don’t get me wrong. Nila was probably a good fuck, which is why I remember it happened, although it’s been a few years, and she’s the only one I’ve fucked more than once—as in, once and a half because I couldn’t be bothered to finish the second time around. But that’s about it.

She’s standing at the entrance of my college art studio, wearing a camisole that’s only held up by a flimsy thread around her neck.

Her brown hair falls to her naked shoulders and she likes to consume chewing gum more than air. There’s nothing I want to do more than dump her and her cheap habits into the dirtiest part of the Thames.

However, she’s relaying important information and it’s in my best interest to listen to her. The brilliant Thames idea has to be unfortunately postponed.

I abandon the piece of clay I’ve been working on, stub my cigarette in the ashtray, and lean against the wall opposite her.

“You were saying? And make it quick, because my tolerance for people in my space is below zero.”

She bats her fake eyelashes. “Including me?”

“Especially you.”

She juts her lips in an immature pout but quickly recovers. “So yeah. Apparently, you pissed off the wrong people. The Heathens and the Serpents are, contrary to your plans, speaking together and possibly plotting against you.”

“More fun. Who cares?”

“Uh, I don’t know. The rest of us who will be caught in the aftermath? We’re not trained mafia men like those guys.”

“You signed up for this knowing full well about the possibility of turning into collateral damage.”

“So…you’ll let us fend for ourselves?”

“For fuck’s sake.” I retrieve another cigarette and light it. “You’re not kids, last I checked. Besides, if there’s something major, I will interfere and stop it from affecting the group.”

I can’t be arsed, if I’m being honest, but an attack on the club is a direct threat to me, and that’s simply not an agenda I support.

“Rory said you’re not paying much attention to the club.”

Rory, the second in command with Nila, and someone I only gave the co-vice president position to because he can be molded like clay, has started to think he could have his own opinions. I don’t appreciate that in my domain, and I will certainly have to nip it in the bud before he turns into a worse problem.

“Tell Rory everything is under control. I’m sure you’ll help me convince him, Nila. You know you’re the only one I trust.”

I don’t mean a single word I’ve said, but I’m convincing enough that I’m rewarded with Nila’s heart eyes.

“Of course!” She approaches me with a sultry look plastered all over her above-average face and places a hand on my chest. “Now that we got that out of the way…”

I stare at her mud-green eyes, so big and muted and terribly boring. The only eyes I’d like staring back at me are those of powder blue and tarnished innocence.

Mia kicked me out of her room last night after she signed that if I cut off her light again, she’d slice my throat in my sleep. Since then, I’ve been in the uni studio for the sole reason that it was the closest.

A burst of creative energy rips through me every time I touch Mia. It’s strange, powerful, and, to my dismay, unexplainable.

I don’t tread in unknown territory. And when I do, it’s only after I’ve studied all variables. That doesn’t seem to be possible with a certain blonde who’s messing up my patterns, habits, and, most importantly, my equilibrium.

It doesn’t matter that I spent the whole night here. That energy started to slip soon after I left Mia.

There must be a way that I can contain this energy. When I was coming all over her petite face, I figured the only solution would be to lock her up, but she’s literally a menace and would snip my balls the first chance she gets.

Now, there’s another option that I don’t particularly care for, but it could be the only one on the table.

“You look gorgeous today.” Nila’s annoying voice brings me out of my reverie.

“I’m gorgeous every day.” I grab her wrist with two fingers and throw her hand away.

Touching is one of the most revolting things humans ever invented. I tolerate it out of necessity and only indulge in it when my cock is involved.

“Now off you go.” I push her in the direction of the door.

“But—”

“I won’t fuck you, Nila. Go find yourself another dick. Though it won’t be as satisfactory as mine, I’m sure you’ll survive the downgrade.”

“You’re such a prick.”

“Being obsessed with my cock won’t get you on his Ten Favorite People list. Fortunately, he’s not turned on by desperate holes.” I slide the studio door closed in her face and make a note to ask the janitor not to give her the keys again.

Though that would be talking to his dick she obviously seduced and won’t be an easy task.

Men, as a general rule, are guided by their lower parts, and while I belong to the disgraceful gender, I don’t share their mindless animalistic instincts.

Fucking, like everything in life, is a power play. A means to take what I want and fuck off.

Just like last night.

Then why did you want to stay afterward, Lan? the voice inside my head that I thought I’d murdered for his blasphemous suggestions whispers.

To get more from my muse, I reply back—in my head, of course, because I’m not a lunatic. Oh, I’m sorry. You don’t have that, so you don’t know what that means. Throw a pity party for yourself and don’t invite me.

That shuts him up.

Good.

Hope he chokes to death on the sentimental bollocks that he wears like a charm.

I’m about to leave the studio to execute my next diabolical plan that may or may not include a certain goth Barbie when my phone vibrates on the work table.

Now, I won’t be winning a Son of the Year award anytime soon, but I don’t usually ignore Mum’s calls.

I pick up the video call with a grin. “Morning to the most beautiful queen.”

Mum laughs, her face radiating. Bran and I inherited the shape of her eyes, while Glyn has her facial structure.

Astrid C. King, as per her paintings’ signature, is the reason all three of us have artistic genes, though I have the strongest, mixed with a dash of chaos.

She soon narrows her eyes. “Why are you buttering me up first thing in the morning? Are you hiding something?”

“Just the fact that you’re the best mum ever, maybe?”

She laughs again.

It’s easy to deal with my parents because I just unleash my inner boy who actually appreciates them.

Mum is a tad better than Dad, though. He, for some reason, still holds a grudge that I pushed Bran and called Glyn unnecessary when we were kids.

So I veered to pretending that I love them to death and that seems to work wonders.

“Stop it, seriously.” She sobers up. “We haven’t spoken in a while.”

“A while being two days.”

“Still too much. All three of you are living far away from home and I just miss you.”

“We miss you, too, but Bran and I have been away from home for over five years now.”

“Still doesn’t get easier.” She sighs with enough drama to rival soap opera actors.

And my mum isn’t even the dramatic type.

“We were never meant to stay,” I say while staring at my collection of clay statues that lie around like ghostly puppets.

“Drive that knife deeper, would you?”

“I wouldn’t dare knife my own mother.” I grin. “We’ll visit soon.”

That’s literally the whole point behind her terrible act.

As expected, her expression lights up. “Bring Bran and Glyn. Kill, too.”

“Only if Killian gets to be brought chopped to pieces and shoved in a freezer.”

“Landon!” She gasps, her eyes chastising me all the way to Sunday.

“What? It’s no secret that I don’t like the twat.”

“Your sister loves him.”

“One more reason to dislike him. She often has terrible taste. Like that time she painted all over my statue.”

Mum winces. “People express their artistic abilities differently.”

“And some people repress it to death, like your dear Bran.”

Her brow furrows and her lips part the slightest bit. So she knows that his ridiculous attempts at painting nature is a camouflage. Seems she’s more in tune with us than I previously thought.

Interesting, and not for the right reasons. I need to be more elusive so she doesn’t see what’s inside me and decide I don’t belong to her little minion prodigies.

“Bran is…” she trails off and wipes the sweat on her upper lip. “Different. He just needs time. When he’s ready, it’ll all work out.”

“It makes sense for him to be delusional, but you don’t even believe what you’re saying. I suggest you practice your acting skills in front of the mirror before you broach the subject with him.”

“Don’t speak to me in that tone, Lan.” She’s pretending to be stern when she can’t do that to save her life.

Mum is all about love, peace, and a million colorful, useless slogans that revolve around harmony. Since we were young, she’s tried to create this picture-perfect family, where we all get along and no one pokes the other member the wrong way.

The result of that effort is obviously the fluid relationship between Bran and Glyn. Me, however? I love poking more than breathing. I can’t survive a day without rubbing someone the wrong way and making them question their entire flimsy existence.

My siblings and parents aren’t excluded. What? It’s not my fault they like to be a cheap reincarnation of Little Miss Ostrich. I don’t like them burying emotions, repressing, or acting like something they’re not. So I shove them here and give them a slice of reality there.

They hate me for it, except for my mum, who still tolerates my shenanigans, but they still need the wake-up call.

I accept thanks in the form of tough love, thank you very much.

“I’m just offering innocent advice, Mum.” I grin at the screen. “I’ve got to meet a professor. Say hi to Dad and everyone.”

“Will do. Don’t cause trouble, Lan.”

“Never.”

More like I absolutely will.

I don’t cause trouble; trouble caused me.

On that note, I end another successful phone call with my mother.

When I was younger, I didn’t realize that letting one’s true nature out was taboo and could be categorized as social suicide. Especially when it’s full of antisocial bollocks.

And while I was completely fine being my beautiful, destructive self, I soon realized I was the reason behind my mother’s distress and my father’s case of epic confusion.

He tried to rein me in by being stern, which failed miserably and backfired. Then he attempted to become my friend, and that only bit him in the arse, because I thought he was giving me the green light to use him. In the end, he was left with no practical solutions to deal with me.

As a last resort, when I was ten and I nearly burned down my school, my parents took me to professionals. The group of pretentious psychiatrists and psychotherapists plugged wires to my head and asked me dumb questions.

My answers to those questions landed me the diagnosis of antisocial disorder, and a brain scan showed mine wasn’t wired like everyone else’s.

I remember the stony expression on my parents’ faces so well. They didn’t show it openly, but I could tell the news upset them beyond words.

They still took me for ice cream afterward and treated me the same. They still considered me their son, despite the fact that I felt alienated.

I was around twelve when I realized the house was in a state of shambles due to my fuck-the-world attitude. I couldn’t possibly let that state fester, now, could I?

So I’ve worn a mask since. I took the useless therapy and pretended that I could be fixed. I convinced myself, while trying not to gag, that all I needed was peace, love, and family.

That’s also when I realized people, including your own family, don’t really like you for what or who you are. It’s all about how you make them feel.

Ever since I started wearing the mask of societal standards, the few wrinkles I added to my parents’ faces have eased a little, and I’m, in a way, their favorite—when Bran isn’t channeling the saint he thinks lurks inside him.

My siblings, however, didn’t get the merciful version of my otherworldly transformation. I don’t like them making fools out of themselves, and I might have taken drastic measures to make sure they’re not acting like idiots.

What? It reflects badly on my pristine image.

I leave the art studio, and even though I’m running on more sleep deprivation than a seasoned hooker, I greet my colleagues, comment on their atrocious edgy clothes, and make small talk with my current and previous professors, who would worship me if I started a cult.

All the social interactions are a strain, painfully empty, and hold the importance of a used napkin. And yet I’m an excellent conversationalist and the holy messiah of charming others.

It all comes down to wearing the appropriate mask in the right situation and with the right people.

It still bores me to tears, though.

People as a concept have only one merit—the ability to be used. Other than that, they’re a brainless, rotten species that I like to pretend I don’t belong to.

Finally, I leave the charade of pretending I give a fuck about their fangirling and fanboying.

I grab a coffee from the nearest coffee shop, making sure I tell the owner she looks like Princess Diana on her wedding day. Complete nonsense that she gobbles up without a hint of doubt.

Then I consume my three-shot espresso in one go and dunk the cup in the bin.

My brain restarts in quick overdrive, ready for whatever I dish his way. Yes, I know too much caffeine isn’t healthy, but I’m not beneath using crutches when I need an extra boost.

Whether it’s cigarettes, coffee, or sex.

I slide into my McLaren and check my phone. After I left last night, I sent Mia a very sweet good night text.

Landon: My cock is pleased to make the acquaintance of your wet little mouth and he can’t wait to meet your cunt after my fingers made a compelling recommendation.

Landon: Oh, and good night. Have an erotic dream of me plowing into your tight little hole.

Unsurprisingly, she didn’t reply at the time.

Now, however, I find a text from her. She sent it about fifteen minutes ago, during the time I was playing my Prince Charming role to perfection.

Mia: Oh, I did dream of you all right. You were hanging from a tree by the balls and I snipped your dick off *scissors emoji* I’d be careful if I were you. My dreams usually come true.

I throw my head back in genuine laughter. This girl is, by all accounts, the most entertaining thing since playing chess with Eli or Uncle Aiden.

Maybe even more so.

Landon: Point is, you still dreamt of me. You like me that much, huh?

Her reply is immediate. Something rare.

I’m breaking that wall, brick by each brick. Once I’m done, my muse will be fully mine.

Mine to own.

Mine to use.

Mine to destroy.

Mia: The delusional police called. You’re under arrest for spreading fake news. In case that wasn’t clear, you’re the last person on earth I’d like.

Landon: And yet you choked on my cock like a good girl.

The dots appear and disappear, but her reply doesn’t come.

Landon: Lost for words?

Mia: More like I’m deciding which voodoo doll of you should I bake in the microwave.

Landon: You’re even making voodoo dolls of me. The obsession is cute. Speaking of cute, are you up to sucking my cock again? I loved your little licks and amateurish attempt at blowing me. The innocence show was such a turn-on.

Mia: No.

Landon: Does that mean you prefer I stick my cock in one of your other holes? Perhaps both?

Mia: Seriously, you need to chill for one fucking second.

Landon: Is that a no?

Mia: Of course it’s a no.

Landon: Pity. You’re missing out on my porn-worthy sex drive. Will try again tomorrow when you’re in a better mood. In the meantime, want to come over?

Mia: To your funeral? Sure. I’ll wear my worst black dress and throw a dead rat in your grave when no one is looking.

I laugh again. I can almost imagine her doing exactly that with a sly grin on her face.

She’s definitely a menace, and I’m loving every second of it.

Landon: That’s tempting, but I meant to come over to the haunted house and model for me.

Mia: No, thanks.

Landon: Your resistance is amusing to a degree, but don’t overdo it, because I could and would crush you once the right circumstances arise. Don’t make the mistake of provoking me again. We both know how it ended up the last few times.

Mia: *Middle finger emoji*

Landon: Very well.

Looks like we’re doing it my way, after all.

I’m about to throw my phone away when she sends another text.

Mia: Just what the hell do you want from me, Landon? Leave me alone.

Landon: No can do. And as for what I want, the answer is simple. I want your soul, little muse.


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